Political Economy of City Sizes and Formation

Posted: 18 May 2001  

J. Vernon Henderson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Randy A. Becker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Abstract

There are two paradigms of city formation and size-the competitive model of large-scale land developers operating in national land markets and the self-organization model of agglomeration. This paper examines the effects of local politics, urban classes, and restrictions in national land markets on city size and formation. It starts by introducing local politics into the two paradigms. Then it turns to a growth situation, where land developers initiate new settlements, but existing cities are either self-organized or governed locally. The paper also examines the politics of local no-growth movements and of governance of specially favored mega-cities.

Suggested Citation

Henderson, J. Vernon and Becker, Randy A., Political Economy of City Sizes and Formation. Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 48, No. 3, November 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=246760

J. Vernon Henderson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Randy A. Becker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

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