The Size Distribution Across All "Cities": A Unifying Approach
University of Duisburg-Essen
University of Duisburg-Essen; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
IZA Discussion Paper No. 6352
In this paper we show that the double Pareto lognormal (DPLN) parameterization provides an excellent fit to the overall US city size distribution, regardless of whether "cities" are administratively defined Census places or economically defined area clusters. We then consider an economic model that combines scale-independent urban growth (Gibrat's law) with endogenous city creation. City sizes converge to a DPLN distribution in this model, which is much better in line with the data than previous urban growth frameworks that predict a lognormal or a Pareto city size distribution (Zipf's law).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Zipf's law, Gibrat's law, city size distributions, double Pareto-Lognormal
JEL Classification: R11, R12, O4working papers series
Date posted: February 25, 2012
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