Further Analysis of the Zipf Law: Does the Rank-Size Rule Really Exist?
The widely-used Zipf law has two striking regularities: excellent fit and close-to-one exponent. When the exponent equals to one, the Zipf law collapses into the rank-size rule. This paper further analyzes the Zipf exponent. By changing the sample size, the truncation point, and the mix of cities in the sample, we found that the exponent is close to one only for some selected sub-samples. Using the values of estimated exponent from the rolling sample method, we obtained an elasticity of the exponent with respect to sample size.
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- Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004.
"The evolution of city size distributions,"
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in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378
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- Nitsch, Volker, 2004.
2004/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007.
"Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
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- Gan, Li & Li, Dong & Song, Shunfeng, 2006. "Is the Zipf law spurious in explaining city-size distributions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 256-262, August.
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