• Corpus ID: 26244368

Cities , Institutions , and Growth : The Emergence of Zipf ’ s Law

@inproceedings{Dittmar2008CitiesI,
  title={Cities , Institutions , and Growth : The Emergence of Zipf ’ s Law},
  author={Jeremiah Dittmar},
  year={2008}
}
Zipf’s Law characterizes city populations as obeying a distributional power law and is supposedly one of the most robust regularities in all of economics. This paper shows, to the contrary, that Zipf’s Law only emerged in Europe between 1500 and 1800. It also shows that Zipf’s Law emerged relatively slowly in Eastern Europe. The explanation I propose has two parts. First, because land and land-intensive intermediates entered city production as quasi-fixed factors, big cities were “too small… 

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