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Theory of Zipf's Law and Beyond

ALEXANDER I. SAICHEV

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ISBN 10: 3642029450 / ISBN 13: 9783642029455
Editorial: Springer, 2009
Nuevos Condición: NEW Encuadernación de tapa blanda
Librería: Herb Tandree Philosophy Books (Stroud, GLOS, Reino Unido)

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9783642029455 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. N° de ref. de la librería HTANDREE0347435

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Theory of Zipf's Law and Beyond

Editorial: Springer

Año de publicación: 2009

Encuadernación: Paperback

Condición del libro:NEW

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Sinopsis:

Zipf’s law is one of the few quantitative reproducible regularities found in e- nomics. It states that, for most countries, the size distributions of cities and of rms (with additional examples found in many other scienti c elds) are power laws with a speci c exponent: the number of cities and rms with a size greater thanS is inversely proportional toS. Most explanations start with Gibrat’s law of proportional growth but need to incorporate additional constraints and ingredients introducing deviations from it. Here, we present a general theoretical derivation of Zipf’s law, providing a synthesis and extension of previous approaches. First, we show that combining Gibrat’s law at all rm levels with random processes of rm’s births and deaths yield Zipf’s law under a “balance” condition between a rm’s growth and death rate. We nd that Gibrat’s law of proportionate growth does not need to be strictly satis ed. As long as the volatility of rms’ sizes increase asy- totically proportionally to the size of the rm and that the instantaneous growth rate increases not faster than the volatility, the distribution of rm sizes follows Zipf’s law. This suggests that the occurrence of very large rms in the distri- tion of rm sizes described by Zipf’s law is more a consequence of random growth than systematic returns: in particular, for large rms, volatility must dominate over the instantaneous growth rate.

From the Back Cover:

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.

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