A GENERALIZED GIBRAT'S LAW
International Economic Review, 2008, vol. 49, issue 4, 1463-1468
Many economic and non-economic variables such as income, wealth, firm size, or city size often distribute Pareto in the upper tail. It is well established that Gibrat's law can explain this phenomenon, but Gibrat's law often does not hold. This note characterizes a class of processes, one that includes Gibrat's law as a special case, that can explain Pareto distributions. Of particular importance is a parsimonious generalization of Gibrat's law that allows size to affect the variance of the growth process but not its mean. This note also shows that under plausible conditions Zipf's law is equivalent to Gibrat's law. Copyright © (2008) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
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