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Zipf, Gibrat and geography: evidence from China, India and Brazil

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Papers in Regional Science
Issue number1
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)159-181
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/02/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We investigate Zipf's Law on the size distribution and Gibrat's Law on the growth of sub-national populations in China, India and Brazil. We reject Zipf's Law for India, but not for China and Brazil; a log normal distribution also fits Brazil well, but not China and India. Gibrat's Law holds for Brazil; that is, lagged population is the best predictor of current population in Brazil. In China, market potential is an important predictor of population growth, while in India both crop area and market potential are important. Our results show that there is a diversity of experiences across countries, and we speculate that this diversity maybe caused by differences in the characteristics of the three countries.