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From Neighborhoods to NationsThe Economics of Social Interactions$
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Yannis M. Ioannides

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691126852

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691126852.001.0001

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Empirics of the Urban Structure and Its Evolution

Empirics of the Urban Structure and Its Evolution

(p.349) Chapter 8 Empirics of the Urban Structure and Its Evolution
From Neighborhoods to Nations

Yannis M. Ioannides

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the empirics of urban structure and evolution. It first considers Zipf's law for cities and the vibrant exchanges both over theory and empirics pertaining to it. It then discusses the Duranton model that explains three empirical regularities regarding endogenous city formation: a stationary law for city size distributions that is skewed to the right; churning of industries across cities as cities experience rapid changes in their industrial compositions; and the pattern of urban size transitions. The chapter also explores the empirics of urban transitions by focusing on models of urban evolution that allow for general intradistributional dependence; the hierarchy principle of industrial diversity; the link between geography and spatial clustering; and studies of urban structure based on “quasi-natural experiments.” Finally, it assesses global aspects of city size distribution and its evolution.

Keywords:   empirics, urban structure, urban evolution, Zipf's law, Duranton model, city size distribution, urban transition, hierarchy principle, geography, spatial clustering

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