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New Evidence on Gibrat’s Law for Cities

Rafael González-Val, Luis Lanaspa () and Fernando Sanz-Gracia
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Rafael González-Val ()

Urban Studies, 2014, vol. 51, issue 1, 93-115

Abstract: The aim of this work is to test empirically the validity of Gibrat’s law on the growth of cities, using data on the complete distribution of cities (without size restrictions) from three countries (the US, Spain and Italy) for the entire 20th century. In order to achieve this, different techniques are used. First, panel data unit root tests tend to confirm the validity of Gibrat’s law in the upper-tail distribution. Secondly, when the entire distribution is considered using non-parametric methods, it is found that Gibrat’s law does not hold exactly in the long term (in general, size affects the variance of the growth process but not its mean). Moreover, the log-normal distribution works well as a description of city size distributions across the whole century when no truncation point is considered.

Date: 2014
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