Pareto or Log‐Normal? Best Fit and Truncation in the Distribution of All Cities

21 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2015

See all articles by Giorgio Fazio

Giorgio Fazio

University of Palermo - d/SEAS

Marco Modica

Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI)

Date Written: November 2015

Abstract

In the literature, the distribution of city size is a controversial issue with two common contenders: the Pareto and the log‐normal. While the first is most accredited when the distribution is truncated above a certain threshold, the latter is usually considered a better representation for the untruncated distribution of all cities. In this paper, we reassess the empirical evidence on the best‐fitting distribution in relation to the truncation point issue. Specifically, we provide a comparison among four recently proposed approaches and alternative definitions of U.S. cities. Our results highlight the importance to look at issue of the best‐fitting distribution together with the truncation issue and provide guidance with respect to the existing tests of the truncation point.

Suggested Citation

Fazio, Giorgio and Modica, Marco, Pareto or Log‐Normal? Best Fit and Truncation in the Distribution of All Cities (November 2015). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 55, Issue 5, pp. 736-756, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2680415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jors.12205

Giorgio Fazio (Contact Author)

University of Palermo - d/SEAS ( email )

Viale delle Scienze, edificio 13
Palermo, 90124
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://giorgiofazio.googlepages.com

Marco Modica

Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) ( email )

viale Francesco Crispi, 7
L'Aquila, 67100
Italy

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