Association between population distribution and urban GDP scaling

Haroldo V Ribeiro, Milena Oehlers, Ana I Moreno-Monroy, J├╝rgen P Kropp, Diego Rybski
PloS One 2021, 16 (1): e0245771
Urban scaling and Zipf's law are two fundamental paradigms for the science of cities. These laws have mostly been investigated independently and are often perceived as disassociated matters. Here we present a large scale investigation about the connection between these two laws using population and GDP data from almost five thousand consistently-defined cities in 96 countries. We empirically demonstrate that both laws are tied to each other and derive an expression relating the urban scaling and Zipf exponents. This expression captures the average tendency of the empirical relation between both exponents, and simulations yield very similar results to the real data after accounting for random variations. We find that while the vast majority of countries exhibit increasing returns to scale of urban GDP, this effect is less pronounced in countries with fewer small cities and more metropolises (small Zipf exponent) than in countries with a more uneven number of small and large cities (large Zipf exponent). Our research puts forward the idea that urban scaling does not solely emerge from intra-city processes, as population distribution and scaling of urban GDP are correlated to each other.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"