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City Age and City Size

Author

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  • Südekum, Jens
  • Giesen, Kristian

Abstract

There has been vast interest in the distribution of city sizes in an economy, but this research has largely neglected that cities also diff er along another fundamental dimension: age. Using novel data on the foundation dates of almost 8,000 American cities, we fi nd that older cities in the US tend to be larger than younger ones. To take this nexus between city age and city size into account, we introduce endogenous city creation into a dynamic economic model of an urban system. The city size distribution that emerges in our economy delivers an excellent and robust fit to diff erent types of US city size data, in fact much better than other parameterizations derived from diff erent urban growth models. This evidence can resolve several recent debates, and build a bridge between different views in the literature on city size distributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Südekum, Jens & Giesen, Kristian, 2013. "City Age and City Size," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79996, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79996
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Puente-Ajovín & Arturo Ramos, 2015. "On the parametric description of the French, German, Italian and Spanish city size distributions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 489-509, March.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Jordan Rappaport, 2013. "The settlement of the United States, 1800 to 2000: the long transition towards Gibrat's law," Research Working Paper RWP 13-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Rafael González-Val, 2016. "Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)," Working Papers 2016/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    4. Desmet, Klaus & Rappaport, Jordan, 2017. "The settlement of the United States, 1800–2000: The long transition towards Gibrat’s law," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 50-68.
    5. Ramos, Arturo, 2015. "Log-growth distributions of US city sizes and non-Lévy processes," MPRA Paper 66561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rafael González-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia, 2014. "A new framework for US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," ERSA conference papers ersa14p633, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Alexander S. Skorobogatov, 2016. "Spatial Equilibrium Approach to the Analysis of Income Differentials Across Russian Cities," HSE Working papers WP BRP 149/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    8. Schmidheiny, Kurt & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "The pan-European population distribution across consistently defined functional urban areas," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 10-13.
    9. Brendan K. Beare & Alexis Akira Toda, 2017. "Geometrically stopped Markovian random growth processes and Pareto tails," Papers 1712.01431, arXiv.org.
    10. Sánchez-Vidal, María & González-Val, Rafael & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2014. "Sequential city growth in the US: Does age matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 29-37.
    11. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando & González-Val, Rafael, 2013. "A new framework for the US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," MPRA Paper 52190, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1147-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Devadoss, Stephen & Luckstead, Jeff, 2015. "Growth process of U.S. small cities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 12-14.
    14. Ramos, Arturo, 2015. "Are the log-growth rates of city sizes normally distributed? Empirical evidence for the US," MPRA Paper 65584, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando, 2015. "US city size distribution revisited: Theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 64051, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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