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Balanced City Growth and Zipf's Law

Juan Cordoba

Working Papers from Rice University, Department of Economics

Abstract: The evidence on city size distribution is remarkable. In many countries it obeys a Pareto distribution. Although several explanations have been proposed for the regularity, none of them is completely convincing, and the exact economic mechanism at work remains largely a puzzle. Current explanations seem to be inconsistent with scale economies, a central element in leading theories of cities.

Date: 2001-07
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