EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The settlement of the United States, 1800–2000: The long transition towards Gibrat’s law

Klaus Desmet () and Jordan Rappaport ()

Journal of Urban Economics, 2017, vol. 98, issue C, 50-68

Abstract: Gibrat’s law, the orthogonality of growth with initial levels, has long been considered a stylized fact of local population growth. But throughout U.S. history, local population growth has significantly deviated from it. Across small locations, growth was strongly negatively correlated with initial population throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This strong convergence gave way to moderate divergence beginning in the mid-twentieth century. Across intermediate and large locations, growth became moderately positively correlated with initial population starting in the late nineteenth century. This divergence eventually dissipated but never completely. A simple-one sector model combining the entry of new locations, a friction from population growth, and a decrease in the congestion arising from the supply of land closely matches these and a number of other evolving empirical relationships.

Keywords: Gibrat’s law; Long-run development; United States; 1800–2000; Local growth; Convergence; Divergence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119015000224
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:juecon:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:50-68

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Urban Economics is currently edited by S.S. Rosenthal and W.C. Strange

More articles in Journal of Urban Economics from Elsevier
Series data maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2017-11-20
Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:50-68