The Return of Zipf: Towards a Further Understanding of the Rank‐Size Distribution

31 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2013

See all articles by Steven Brakman

Steven Brakman

University of Groningen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Harry Garretsen

Utrecht University - School of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics

Charles van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - School of Economics

Marianne Van Den Berg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 1999

Abstract

We offer a general‐equilibrium economic approach to Zipf's Law or, more generally, the rank‐size distribution—the striking empirical regularity concerning the size distribution of cities. We provide some further understanding of Zipf's Law by incorporating negative feedbacks (congestion) in a popular model of economic geography and international trade. This model allows the powers of agglomeration and spreading to be in long‐run equilibrium, which enhances our understanding of the existence of a rank‐size distribution of cities.

Suggested Citation

Brakman, Steven and Garretsen, Harry and van Marrewijk, Charles and Van Den Berg, Marianne, The Return of Zipf: Towards a Further Understanding of the Rank‐Size Distribution (February 1999). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 39, Issue 1, pp. 183-213, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2209620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9787.00129

Steven Brakman (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 3746 (Phone)
+31 50 363 3730 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Harry Garretsen

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
+31 0 30 253 9810 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands
+31 24 361 5889 (Phone)
+31 24 361 1846 (Fax)

Charles Van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
*31-(0)30-2539810 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.charlesvanmarrewijk.nl

Marianne Van Den Berg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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