C. Hoyt Bleakley photo

History and the Sizes of Cities

Publication Abstract

Bleakley, C. Hoyt, and Jeffrey Lin. 2015. "History and the Sizes of Cities." American Economic Review, 105(5): 558-563.

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.

10.1257/aer.p20151069

Browse | Search | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Barbara Anderson comments in NYT on Federal Law that protects citizenship status data from distribution by the Census Bureau

Anderson discusses impact of Administration's ongoing pursuit of Citizenship information around the 2020 Census with Michigan Radio

Burgard correlates job insecurity higher with negative overall health and depression than the impact of job loss and regain

More News

Highlights

Colter Mitchell receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Frey receives 2019 ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook