A comparison of city size distributions for China and India from 1950 to 2010

Jeff Luckstead, Stephen Devadoss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the distributions of Chinese and Indian city sizes for seven decades (1950s to 2010s)using lognormal, Pareto, and general Pareto distributions. We ascertain which distribution fits the data and how the city size distributions change during these periods. The Chinese city size distribution is represented by lognormal in the early periods (1950-1990) and by Pareto in 2010, but is not characterized by Zipf, which could be attributed to Chinese government's restrictions of migration from rural to urban areas and the one-child policy. In contrast, the Indian city size distribution transitions from lognormal in the earlier periods to Zipf in the later periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalEconomics Letters
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • China
  • City size
  • General Pareto
  • India
  • Lognormal
  • Pareto

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