Spatial Pattern and City Size Distribution

Author Name MORI Tomoya (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. August 2018 18-E-053
Research Project An Empirical Framework for Studying Spatial Patterns and Causal Relationships of Economic Agglomeration
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This paper reviews the extant formal models that explain the spatial pattern together with the size distribution of cities, and discusses the remaining research questions to be answered in this literature. To obtain meaningful results about the spatial patterns of cities, a model needs to depart from the most popular; a two-region and the systems-of-cities frameworks in urban and regional economics in which there is no variation in interregional distance. This is one of the major reasons that only few formal models have been proposed in this literature. To draw implications as much as possible from the extant theories, this review involves extensive discussions on the behavior of the many-region extension of the extant models. The mechanisms that link the spatial pattern of cities and the diversity in city sizes are also discussed separately in detail.