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Book Cover
Author Saichev, A. I

Title Theory of Zipf's law and beyond / Alexander Saichev, Yannick Malevergne, Didier Sornette
Published Heidelberg ; New York : Springer, ©2010


Description 1 online resource (xii, 171 pages) : illustrations
Series Lecture notes in economics and mathematical systems, 0075-8442 ; 632
Lecture notes in economics and mathematical systems ; 632.
Contents Introduction -- Continuous Gibrat's Law and Gabaix's Derivation of Zipf's Law -- Flow of Firm Creation -- Useful Properties of Realizations of the Geometric Brownian Motion -- Exit or "Death" of Firms -- Deviations from Gibrat's Law and Implications for Generalized Zipf's Laws -- Firm's Sudden Deaths -- Non-Stationary Mean Birth Rate -- Properties of the Realization Dependent Distribution of Firm Sizes -- Future Directions and Conclusions -- List of the Main Notations
Summary Zipf's law is one of the few quantitative reproducible regularities found in economics. It states that, for most countries, the size distributions of city sizes and of firms are power laws with a specific exponent: the number of cities and of firms with sizes greater than S is inversely proportional to S. Zipf's law also holds in many other scientific fields. Most explanations start with Gibrat's law of proportional growth (also known as "preferential attachment'' in the application to network growth) but need to incorporate additional constraints and ingredients introducing deviations from it. This book presents a general theoretical derivation of Zipf's law, providing a synthesis and extension of previous approaches. The general theory is presented in the language of firm dynamics for the sake of convenience but applies to many other systems. It takes into account (i) time-varying firm creation, (ii) firm's exit resulting from both a lack of sufficient capital and sudden external shocks, (iii) the coupling between firm's birth rate and the growth of the value of the population of firms. The robustness of Zipf's law is understood from the approximate validity of a general balance condition. A classification of the mechanisms responsible for deviations from Zipf's law is also offered
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 167-170) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Urban economics -- Mathematical models
Economic geography -- Mathematical models.
Zipf's law.
Cities and towns -- Growth -- Mathematical models
Distribution (Probability theory)
distribution (statistics-related concept)
Science économique.
Economie de l'entreprise.
Cities and towns -- Growth -- Mathematical models
Economic geography -- Mathematical models
Urban economics -- Mathematical models
Zipf's law
Form Electronic book
Author Malevergne, Yannick
Sornette, Didier, 1957-
ISBN 9783642029462