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Thünen Model

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

One of the first and most influential conceptions of relative location was proposed by Johann von Thünen (1780–1850), a German estate owner interested in economic theory and local agricultural conditions. From his experiences as an estate manager, he observed that identical plots of land would be used for different purposes depending on their accessibility to the market. His book The Isolated State, published in 1826, proposed one of the very first models in economic geography. von Thünen's aim was to uncover the laws that govern the interactions of agricultural prices, transport costs, and land uses as landlords sought to maximize their profits.

The concept of economic rent, also called location rent, a relative measure of the advantage of one parcel of land over another, is central ...

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