The Evolution of City Size Distributions
Xavier Gabaix firstname.lastname@example.org MIT and NBER, USA. MIT and NBER. USA
Yannis M. Ioannides email@example.com Tufts University, USA. Tufts University. USA
JEL classification: C2, N9, R1
We review the accumulated knowledge on city size distributions and determinants of urban growth. This topic is of interest because of a number of key stylized facts, including notably Zipf’s law for cities (which states that the number of cities of size greater than S is proportional to 1/S) and the importance of urban primacy. We first review the empirical evidence on the upper tail of city size distribution. We offer a novel discussion of the important econometric issues in the characterization ...