- Johann Heinrich von Thünen
name = Johann Heinrich von Thünen
caption = Johann Heinrich von Thünen
24 June 1783
22 September 1850
Johann Heinrich von Thünen (
24 June 1783- 22 September 1850) was a prominent nineteenth century economist [ He "ranks alongside Marx as the greatest economist of the nineteenth century" ( Fernand Braudel)] . Von Thünen was a Mecklenburg(north German) landowner, who in the first volume of his treatise, "The Isolated State" (1826), developed the first serious treatment of spatial economics, connecting it with the theory of rent. The importance lies less in the pattern of land use predicted than in its analytical approach.
Von Thünen developed the basics of the theory of marginal productivity in a mathematically rigorous way, summarizing it in the formula in which
:"R" = "Y"("p" − "c") − "YFm",
where R=land rent; Y=yield per unit of land; c=production expenses per unit of commodity; p=market price per unit of commodity; F=freight rate; m=distance to market.
The Von Thünen model of agricultural land, created before industrialization, made the following simplifying assumptions:
* The city is located centrally within an "Isolated State."
* The Isolated State is surrounded by wilderness.
* The land is completely flat and has no rivers or mountains.
* Soil quality and climate are consistent.
* Farmers in the Isolated State transport their own goods to market via oxcart, across land, directly to the central city. There are no roads.
* Farmers behave rationally to maximize profits.
The use a piece of land is put to is a function of the cost of transport to market and the land rent a farmer can afford to pay (determined by yield, which is held constant here).
The model generated four concentric rings of agricultural activity. Dairying and intensive farming lies closest to the city. Since vegetables, fruit, milk and other dairy products must get to market quickly, they would be produced close to the city.
Timber and firewood would be produced for fuel and building materials in the second ring. Wood was a very important fuel for heating and cooking and is very heavy and difficult to transport so it is located as close to the city.
The third zone consists of extensive fields crops such as grain. Since grains last longer than dairy products and are much lighter than fuel, reducing transport costs, they can be located further from the city.
Ranching is located in the final ring. Animals can be raised far from the city because they are self-transporting. Animals can walk to the central city for sale or for butchering.
Beyond the fourth ring lies the wilderness, which is too great a distance from the central city for any type of agricultural product.
Von Thünen's rings proved especially useful to economic history, such as
Fernand Braudel's "Civilization and Capitalism," untangling the economic history of Europe and European colonialism before the Industrial Revolutionblurred the patterns on the ground.
economics, von Thünen rent is an economic rentcreated by spatial variation or location of a resource. It is 'that which can be earned "above" that which can be earned at the margin of production'.
Model of agricultural land use: The Thünen rings
In his theory of "
The Isolated State", he started out from Adam Smith's idea of " economic man": that the farmer is expected to maximize his profit (" economic rent") from his farmland. Von Thünen, as a landlord, knew that such returns depends on an optimal use of the land surfaces and the transport costs. In concentrating on the effects of these two variables on profits, removal of other factors results in a homogeneous - and isolated - state: A circular, completely undilating plane with a single, dominant market in the center and no interactions with the outside. The economy in the surrounding rural area would have to rearrange itself according to economic behavior in such a way that each industry brings optimal profit in:
Transport cost depends on the distance from the market and different kind of products. The gain from farming per unit area (locational rent) decreases with increasing distance from the market. The minimum price of a commodity is calculated by locational rent, transport costs and fixed production costs - the profit is then the difference between the costs and the fixed market price.Idealized pattern of agricultural land use zones in von Thünen's model
Locational rent, a term used by von Thünen in his argument, is to be understood as the equivalent to land value. It corresponds to the maximum amount a farmer could pay for using the land, without making losses. It can be defined as the equation below:
* L: Locational rent (in DM/)
* Y: Yield (in )
* P: Market price of the crop (in )
* C: Production cost of the crop (in )
* D: Distance from the market (in )
* F: Transport cost (in )
Take the locational rent of a product with a yield of 1,000 , for example, with a fixed price of 100 DM/t in the market. Production and transport costs are respectively, 50 DM/t and 1 DM/t/km. The locational rent is 50,000 DM/km^(2) at the market, 40,000 DM/km^(2) 10 km from the market and only 20,000 DM/km^(2) 30 km from the market. Since locational rent falls with increasing distance from the market, the amount each farmer is willing to pay for agricultural land will shrink and the price of land will eventually decline.
Von Thünen concluded that the cultivation of a crop is only worthwhile within certain distances from the city: beyond that, either the cost of the land becomes too high, with increasing distances transport costs also increase, or, if there is another product having greater yield or lower transport costs. After a distance from the market (the city) the production of a crop becomes unprofitable, either because its profits drop to zero or the profits earned by other crops are higher, as von Thünen calculated them for products having different intensities (cattle, wood, grain, eggs, milk, etc.): For each product there is a certain distance from the city where its production would be worthwhile. Since Thünen referred transport costs directly to the market ("Luftlinie"), circular land use zones arises - the Thünen rings.Representation of the locational rent relationship between two agricultural goods
The farmers of these products compete against each other, plant their crops concentrically around the market according to the locational rent curves of their own crops. Products having low yields with high price and high transport costs relative to its weight or distance due to its weight, will have higher locational rent close to the market than a product having lower transport costs. Locational rent is the highest possible amount one will pay for the use of the land for a certain cultivation, and is a relative indicator of competitiveness of it in the market. [work on]
Weaknesses & Criticism
The model was developed in an isolated state and did not take into consideration differences in sites (local physical conditions). It can be modified by relaxing some of the conditions set forth by Von Thunen:
*differential transportation costs. Example: boats are the cheapest mode of transportation.
* variations in topography
*changes in demand or price of the commodity
However, the model tends to hold true in most instances.
The theory may break down somewhat in industrial and post-industrial economies as urban expansion/sprawl occur. For example, modern refrigerators also enable perishable products to be transported longer distances
Like many other models in geography, von Thünen's model was criticized frequently due to its restrictive nature. The basic conditions of the model, however, could be approximated by slight modifications of the respective reality. The circular pattern, which can be attributed to only one market and excluding transport costs gradients running from the centre, is for example only one of many conceivable geometrical starting situations. If other natural landscapes or transportation routes are present, the land use zones would be stripe-formed. If several markets were present, groups of zones would be formed around each market.
A justified objection against it is the reference to the absence of any productive profit. In von Thünen's theory different agricultural uses compete for the optimal location, which results from the product-specific supply/expenditure relation. The competitive power becomes indirectly measurable over locational rent. After deducting production costs and location-specific transport costs, however, nothing more remains of the market profits. The von Thuenen model leads to the idea of complete self-sufficiency among farmers.
Thünen's idea of "economic rent" attempted - while ignoring other characteristics - to explain the use of zones controlled solely by economically rational perception. Possible consumers play, finally, the crucial role for the choice of location. At the same time evaluation of all potential locations is released, which leads to a zoning of the possible offers. This simply developed space restaurant model reacts however sensitively to changes of the space overcoming costs. It possesses however due to its universality nevertheless a high value within geographical questions and methodology.
* [http://faculty.washington.edu/~krumme/450/thunen.html Online resources concerning von Thünen]
* [http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/thunen.htm CEPA page on von Thünen]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Johann Heinrich von Thünen — (* 24. Juni 1783 in Canarienhausen, Wangerland; † 22. September 1850 in Tellow) war ein deutscher Agrar und Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, Sozialreformer und Musterlandwirt. Er vereinte theoretische Kenntnisse de … Deutsch Wikipedia
Johann Heinrich Von Thünen — Johann Heinrich von Thünen, né le 24 juin 1783 à Canarienhausen, aujourd hui Wangerland, Basse Saxe, décédé le 22 septembre 1850 à Tellow près de Teterow, Mecklenburg, était un économiste allemand … Wikipédia en Français
Johann Heinrich von Thunen — Johann Heinrich von Thünen Johann Heinrich von Thünen Johann Heinrich von Thünen, né le 24 juin 1783 à Canarienhausen, aujourd hui Wangerland, Basse Saxe, décédé le 22 septembre 1850 à Tellow près de Teterow, Mecklenburg, était un économiste… … Wikipédia en Français
Johann Heinrich von Thünen — Johann Heinrich von Thünen, né le 24 juin 1783 à Canarienhausen, aujourd hui Wangerland, Basse Saxe, décédé le 22 septembre 1850 à Tellow près de Teterow, Mecklenburg, était un économiste allemand … Wikipédia en Français
Johann heinrich von thünen — Johann Heinrich von Thünen, né le 24 juin 1783 à Canarienhausen, aujourd hui Wangerland, Basse Saxe, décédé le 22 septembre 1850 à Tellow près de Teterow, Mecklenburg, était un économiste allemand … Wikipédia en Français
Johann Heinrich von Thünen — Johann Heinrich von Thünen. Johann Heinrich von Thünen (Canarienhausen hoy Wangerland, Baja Sajonia, 24 de junio de 1783 Tellow, Mecklemburgo, 22 de septiembre de 1850), fue un economista alemán, muy conocido por su teoría de la localización o d … Wikipedia Español
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut — – Bundesforschungsinstitut für Ländliche Räume, Wald und Fischerei – vTI – Stellung der Behörde Forschungsinstitut des Bundes … Deutsch Wikipedia
Thünen, Johann Heinrich von — born June 24, 1783, Jever, Oldenburg died Sept. 22, 1850, Tellow, Mecklenburg German economist and agriculturalist. After carrying out research on his own estate into the relationship between the costs of commodity transportation and the location … Universalium
Thünen, Johann Heinrich von — ► (1783 1850) Economista alemán. Inició en Alemania la aplicación del método matemático a la ciencia económica, y una teoría de la distribución basada en la productividad marginal. * * * (24 jun. 1783, Jever, Oldenburg–22 sep. 1850, Tellow,… … Enciclopedia Universal
Edo Heinrich von Thünen — (* 16. Juni 1808 in Friedland; † 17. August 1873) war Rittergutsbesitzer und Mitglied des Reichstags des Norddeutschen Bundes. Leben Edo Heinrich von Thünen war der Sohn von Johann Heinrich von Thünen (1783 1850) und besuchte bis 1827 das… … Deutsch Wikipedia