Ageing and Labour Market Development: Testing Gibrat’s and Zipf’s Law for Germany

  • Marco ModicaEmail author
  • Aura Reggiani
  • Nicola De Vivo
  • Peter Nijkamp
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Gibrat’s law and Zipf’s law describe two very well-known empirical regularities on the distribution of settlements. Many studies have focused on the analysis of both these regularities, stimulated by the idea that an accurate description of the distribution of people in space is important for both policy-relevant purposes and for specifying more appropriate theoretical models. However, the existing literature provides an analysis of Gibrat’s and Zipf’s law without taking into account the demographic characteristics of the population under analysis. Given the fact that many countries, and especially those in Europe, will become ageing societies in the decades to come, the aim of this chapter is to provide a more accurate description of the distribution of people, taking into account the demographic differences between people. In this analysis, we focus on both municipal population (place of residence) and employment (place of work) data for Germany between the years 2001 and 2011. Here, we provide evidence of different behaviour in the cohorts of older people. Theoretical models of urban growth that aim to be more fit-for-purpose need to take this different behaviour into consideration.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Modica
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Aura Reggiani
    • 3
  • Nicola De Vivo
    • 4
  • Peter Nijkamp
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.CNR –IRCrES, Research Institute on Sustainable Economic GrowthL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Gran Sasso Science InstituteL’AquilaItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.IMT Lucca – School for Advanced StudiesLuccaItaly
  5. 5.Adam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  6. 6.JADS (Jheronimus Academy of Data Science)’s-HertogenboschThe Netherlands

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