Patterns In U.S. Urban Growth (1790-2000)
This paper reconsiders the evolution of the growth of American cities since 1790 in the light of new theories of urban growth. The null hypothesis for long-term growth is random growth. The authors obtain evidence supporting random growth against the alternative of mean reversion (convergence) in city sizes using panel unit root tests. They also examine mobility within the distribution to try to extract growth patterns different from the general unit root trend detected. They find evidence of high mobility when they model growth as a first-order Markov process.