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ZIPF’S LAW APPEARANCE IN THE RUSSIAN CITIES

Svetlana Rastvortseva () and Inna Manaeva ()
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Inna Manaeva: World Economy Chair – Belgorod State National Research University, Russia, http://www.bsu.edu.ru

Regional Science Inquiry, 2016, vol. VIII, issue 1, 51-59

Abstract: The understanding of concentration processes about resources, population, enterprises in some regions and in the cities is very significant for economists and policy-makers. It’s caused by the worldwide urbanization trend and local trend of economic activity agglomeration that increase the regional development differentiation within the country. Issues of economic activity locations and space distribution are solved by scientists over the past two centuries. Recent works show the increasing interest of economists to the Zipf’s law testing in the regional system and the rank-size distribution of the cities. Research aims are to test the Zipf’s law in the Russian cities and to test the hypothesis that the Russian Zipf coefficients depends on the size of the geographical territory of the Federal District.Methodology. In the paper it’s used least square method for tasting the Zipf’s law in Russian cities in general and separately for the federal districts. There is 1,123 Russian cities panel (cities with over 1,000 people population in 2014).Results. The Zipf’s law is confirmed in the territory of Russia in general. According to the Federal Districts the Zipf coefficients range from -0.65 (Far Eastern Federal District) to -0.9 (the Urals and the North Caucasian Federal Districts). Equitability of cities hierarchy in the Ural and the North Caucasus Federal Districts dues to the fact that there are 139 cities located in the 1,789 thous. km2 in the Urals and 56 cities in the 170 thous. km2 in the Caucasus. In the Far East the city location is very disperse - 66 cities in the area of 6000 thous. km2 (Zipf coefficient - 0.65). Conclusions. Testing of the Zipf’s law for the Russian cities in general shows that it’s valid for the small (8,600 – 15,300 peoples) and large cities (66,700 – 331,000 peoples). For cities panel with population exceeds 100 thous. people. The Zipf’s law is not valid for cities of more than 1 million people. (exception – the city of St. Petersburg). The result of the study is the confirmation of the hypothesis that the Zipf coefficient depends on the size of the Federal District.

Keywords: location theories; the Zipf’s law; the city; the rank-size distribution; the cities of Russia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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