Cities and growth

Theory and evidence from France and Japan

Jonathan W. Eaton, Zvi Eckstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

257 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relative populations of the top 40 urban areas of France and Japan remained very constant during these countries' periods of industrialization and urbanization, and are described quite well by the 'rank-size rule.' Moreover, projection of their future distributions based on past growth indicates that their size-distributions in steady state will not differ essentially from what they have been historically. Urbanization consequently appears to have taken the form of the parallel growth of cities, rather than convergence to an optimal city size or the divergent growth of the largest cities. We develop a model of urbanization and growth based on the accumulation of human capital consistent with these observations. Our model predicts that larger cities will have higher levels of human capital, higher rents and higher wages per worker, even though workers are homogeneous and free to migrate between cities. Cities grow at a common growth rate, with relative city size depending upon the environment that they provide for learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-474
Number of pages32
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Volume27
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Fingerprint

growth theory
Japan
France
urbanization
large city
human capital
evidence
worker
industrialization
rent
projection
wage
urban area
city
Growth theory
learning
Urbanization
Human capital
City size
Workers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

@article{323f572d534d4b3c8e219d494fb370df,
title = "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan",
abstract = "The relative populations of the top 40 urban areas of France and Japan remained very constant during these countries' periods of industrialization and urbanization, and are described quite well by the 'rank-size rule.' Moreover, projection of their future distributions based on past growth indicates that their size-distributions in steady state will not differ essentially from what they have been historically. Urbanization consequently appears to have taken the form of the parallel growth of cities, rather than convergence to an optimal city size or the divergent growth of the largest cities. We develop a model of urbanization and growth based on the accumulation of human capital consistent with these observations. Our model predicts that larger cities will have higher levels of human capital, higher rents and higher wages per worker, even though workers are homogeneous and free to migrate between cities. Cities grow at a common growth rate, with relative city size depending upon the environment that they provide for learning.",
author = "Eaton, {Jonathan W.} and Zvi Eckstein",
year = "1997",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "443--474",
journal = "Regional Science and Urban Economics",
issn = "0166-0462",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "4-5",

}

Cities and growth : Theory and evidence from France and Japan. / Eaton, Jonathan W.; Eckstein, Zvi.

In: Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 27, No. 4-5, 01.01.1997, p. 443-474.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cities and growth

T2 - Theory and evidence from France and Japan

AU - Eaton, Jonathan W.

AU - Eckstein, Zvi

PY - 1997/1/1

Y1 - 1997/1/1

N2 - The relative populations of the top 40 urban areas of France and Japan remained very constant during these countries' periods of industrialization and urbanization, and are described quite well by the 'rank-size rule.' Moreover, projection of their future distributions based on past growth indicates that their size-distributions in steady state will not differ essentially from what they have been historically. Urbanization consequently appears to have taken the form of the parallel growth of cities, rather than convergence to an optimal city size or the divergent growth of the largest cities. We develop a model of urbanization and growth based on the accumulation of human capital consistent with these observations. Our model predicts that larger cities will have higher levels of human capital, higher rents and higher wages per worker, even though workers are homogeneous and free to migrate between cities. Cities grow at a common growth rate, with relative city size depending upon the environment that they provide for learning.

AB - The relative populations of the top 40 urban areas of France and Japan remained very constant during these countries' periods of industrialization and urbanization, and are described quite well by the 'rank-size rule.' Moreover, projection of their future distributions based on past growth indicates that their size-distributions in steady state will not differ essentially from what they have been historically. Urbanization consequently appears to have taken the form of the parallel growth of cities, rather than convergence to an optimal city size or the divergent growth of the largest cities. We develop a model of urbanization and growth based on the accumulation of human capital consistent with these observations. Our model predicts that larger cities will have higher levels of human capital, higher rents and higher wages per worker, even though workers are homogeneous and free to migrate between cities. Cities grow at a common growth rate, with relative city size depending upon the environment that they provide for learning.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0000393036&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0000393036&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 443

EP - 474

JO - Regional Science and Urban Economics

JF - Regional Science and Urban Economics

SN - 0166-0462

IS - 4-5

ER -