Beyond Kuznets: Inequality and the Size and Distribution of Cities

17 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2018

See all articles by David Castells-Quintana

David Castells-Quintana

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Applied Economics; University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA)

Date Written: June 2018

Abstract

As countries develop the percentage of population living in urban areas tends to increase. As this happens, inequality is expected first to increase and then to decline in what is known as the Kuznets inverted‐U. But the literature has not paid much attention to differences in the absolute size of cities potentially affecting economy‐wide inequality. Building on insights from the urban economics literature, this paper studies the relationship between the size and distribution of cities and income inequality at country level. Results show that beyond Kuznets’ hypothesis there is a U‐shaped relationship between average city size and inequality; inequality first falls and then increases with average city size. This result is robust to a long list of controls, different estimation techniques, and identification strategies.

Keywords: agglomeration, city size, development, inequality, urbanization

Suggested Citation

Castells-Quintana, David, Beyond Kuznets: Inequality and the Size and Distribution of Cities (June 2018). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 58, Issue 3, pp. 564-580, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3191599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jors.12368

David Castells-Quintana (Contact Author)

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Departamento de Economía Aplicada
Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193
Spain

University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA) ( email )

Tower IV
Av. Diagonal 690
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

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