On the Number and Size of Cities*

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Takatoshi Tabuchi

Takatoshi Tabuchi

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics

Jacques-François Thisse

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Dao-Zhi Zeng

Tohoku University - Graduate School of Information Sciences

Abstract

We study the effects of a decrease in inter-city transport costs on the spatial distribution of population in a multi-regional economy, when a rise in the regional population generates higher urban costs. Holding the number of cities constant, as transport costs are reduced gradually from a very high level to a very low level, there is a first phase in which large cities grow while small cities shrink, a second phase in which both large and small cities grow while medium size cities shrink, and a third phase in which large cities shrink while small cities grow. Furthermore, when the number of cities is allowed to vary as transport costs are reduced from large to small values, it first decreases and then increases.

JEL Classification: F12, L13, R13

Suggested Citation

Tabuchi, Takatoshi and Thisse, Jacques-François and Zeng, Dao-Zhi, On the Number and Size of Cities*. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 423-448, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=917696

Takatoshi Tabuchi (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-0033
Japan
+81 3 5841 5603 (Phone)
+81 3 5841 5521 (Fax)

Jacques-François Thisse

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place des Doyens 1
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Dao-Zhi Zeng

Tohoku University - Graduate School of Information Sciences ( email )

Aramaki aza Aoba 6-3-09, Aoba-ku
Sendai, Miyagi 980-8579
Japan
+81 22 795 4380 (Phone)
+81 22 795 4380 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.se.is.tohoku.ac.jp/~zeng/eng.html

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