We present a model of city size distributions that emphasizes the importance of human capital accumulation. We then use it to explore the evolution of city size distributions in the United States by means of a newly constructed data set. The data are from the U.S. Census and cover metropolitan areas from 1900 to 1990. We examine in some detail the dynamics in the evolution, using both a variety of... read moreparametric and non-parametric distributional approaches, including the Pareto law, and consider convergence aspects of those dynamics. We show that entry of new cities is an important characteristic of the U.S. experience, and that the U.S. urban system appears to be characterized by divergent growth, if spatial evolution is ignored, and by convergent growth in the presence of very significant regional effects.read less
Dobkins, Linda Harris and Yannis M. Ioannides. 2001. "Dynamic Evolution of the U.S. City Size Distribution." In The Economics of Cities, edited by J.Huriot and J. Thisse, 217-260. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.