Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/105586
Authors: 
Klein, Alexander
Leunig, Tim
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
School of Economics Discussion Papers 1314
Abstract: 
This paper examines Gibrat’s law in England and Wales between 1801 and 1911 using a unique data set covering the entire settlement size distribution. We find that Gibrat’s law broadly holds even in the face of population doubling every fifty years, an industrial and transport trevolution, and the absence of zoning laws to constrain growth. The result is strongest for the later period, and in counties most affected by the industrial revolution. The exception were villages in areas bypassed by the industrial revolution. We argue that agglomeration externalities balanced urban disamenities such as commuting costs and poor living conditions to ensure steady growth of many places, rather than exceptional growth of few.
Subjects: 
Gibrat’s law
city-size distribution
industrial revolution
JEL: 
N93
R12
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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