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Spurious Zipf's Law

  • Juan-Carlos Candeal
  • Antonio Montañés

    ()

  • Irene Olloqui

    ()

This paper shows that the acceptance of the Zipf's Law may sometimes be the result of a spurious artifact. By way of some Monte Carlo exercises we provide evidence in favour of the fact that the Zipf's law can be spuriously accepted when the variable being studied is generated by a random distribution. This result is explained by taking account the, so-called, spurious detrending problem.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa03/cdrom/papers/67.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa03p67.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p67
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  1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  2. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  3. Alperovich, Gershon, 1989. "The distribution of city size: A sensitivity analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 93-102, January.
  4. Ng, S. & Perron, P., 1994. "Unit Root Tests ARMA Models with Data Dependent Methods for the Selection of the Truncation Lag," Cahiers de recherche 9423, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Henry G. Overman & Yannis Ioannides, 2000. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20136, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  8. Durlauf, Steven N & Phillips, Peter C B, 1988. "Trends versus Random Walks in Time Series Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1333-54, November.
  9. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  10. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  11. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
  12. Ramsden, J.J. & Kiss-Haypál, Gy., 2000. "Company size distribution in different countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 277(1), pages 220-227.
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