1987 volume 19(2) pages 187 – 204
doi:10.1068/a190187

Cite as:
Parr J B, 1987, "The Tinbergen analysis of an urban system and alternative approaches" Environment and Planning A 19(2) 187 – 204

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The Tinbergen analysis of an urban system and alternative approaches

J B Parr

Received 4 November 1985; in revised form 2 May 1986

Abstract. The income model proposed by Tinbergen, which is concerned with the size distribution of centres within an urban system, is outlined in the context of a closed region. The main features of the Tinbergen model, including the balance-of-payments equilibrium, are then applied to an urban system with a fundamentally different spatial structure and distinct pattern of trade flows. It is demonstrated that the size distribution of centres within this alternative model can also be derived in terms of an export-base formulation. After a discussion of trade flows and trade balances among the hierarchical levels of the alternative model, several extensions are introduced. These extensions, which deal with specialised (noncentral) goods and with extraregional trade, are examined individually and their collective impact is then considered. Finally, consideration is given to the possibilities for further development of the approach.

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