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Regular version of the site

Article

About the Origin of Cities

Journal of Urban Economics. 2019. Vol. 111. P. 1-13.
De Palma A., Papageourgiou Y., Thisse J., Ushchev P.

We provide a bare-bones framework that uncovers the circumstances which lead either to
the emergence of equally-spaced and equally-sized central places or to a hierarchy of central
places. We show how these patterns re‡ect the preferences of agents and the e¢ ciency of trans-
portation and communication technologies. With one population of homogeneous individuals,
the economy is characterized by a uniform distribution or by a periodic distribution of central
places having the same size. The interaction between two distinct populations may give rise
to a hierarchy of central places with one or several primate cities