History and the Sizes of Cities

12 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015

See all articles by Hoyt Bleakley

Hoyt Bleakley

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Jeffrey Lin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 12, 2015

Abstract

We contrast evidence of urban path dependence with efforts to analyze calibrated models of city sizes. Recent evidence of persistent city sizes following the obsolescence of historical advantages suggests that path dependence cannot be understood as the medium-run effect of legacy capital but instead as the long-run effect of equilibrium selection. In contrast, a different, recent literature uses stylized models in which fundamentals uniquely determine city size. We show that a commonly used model is inconsistent with evidence of long-run persistence in city sizes and propose several modifications that might allow for multiplicity and thus historical path dependence.

Keywords: Multiple Equilibria, Locational Fundamentals, Path Dependence

JEL Classification: N90, R12, F12

Suggested Citation

Bleakley, Hoyt and Lin, Jeffrey, History and the Sizes of Cities (January 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2560317

Hoyt Bleakley

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Jeffrey Lin (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
81
Abstract Views
626
rank
343,328
PlumX Metrics