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Zipf's law for cities: a cross country investigation

Soo, Kwok Tong (2004) Zipf's law for cities: a cross country investigation. CEPDP (641). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753017679

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This paper assesses the empirical validity of Zipf¿s Law for cities, using new data on 73 countries and two estimation methods ¿ OLS and the Hill estimator. With either estimator, we reject Zipf¿s Law far more often than we would expect based on random chance; for 53 out of 73 countries using OLS, and for 30 out of 73 countries using the Hill estimator. The OLS estimates of the Pareto exponent are roughly normally distributed, but those of the Hill estimator are bimodal. Variations in the value of the Pareto exponent are better explained by political economy variables than by economic geography variables.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2004 Kwok Tong Soo
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C1 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: General > C16 - Specific Distributions
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2008 09:23
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:52

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