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Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800)

Rafael González-Val ()

No 2016/8, Working Papers from Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of the European urban system from a long-term perspective (from 1300 to 1800) considering the historical data set of Bairoch et al. (1988). Using the method recently proposed by Clauset et al. (2009), a Pareto-type city size distribution (power law) is rejected from 1300 to 1600. A power law is a plausible model for the city size distribution only in 1700 and 1800, although the log-normal distribution is another plausible alternative model that we cannot reject. Moreover, random growth of cities is rejected using parametric and non-parametric methods. The results reveal a clear pattern of convergent growth in all periods.

Keywords: City size distribution; power law; Pareto distribution; Zipf’s law; Gibrat’s law (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C12 C14 R11 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro, nep-his and nep-ure
Date: 2016
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Related works:
Journal Article: Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800) (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800) (2017) Downloads
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