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Thünen als Raumdenker. Eine Betrachtung zur Erinnerung an den hundertsten Todestag Johann Heinrich von Thünens (gestorben am 22. September 1850)

Friedrich Bülow
Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv
Bd. 65 (1950), pp. 1-24
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40432526
Page Count: 24
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Thünen als Raumdenker. Eine Betrachtung zur Erinnerung an den hundertsten Todestag Johann Heinrich von Thünens (gestorben am 22. September 1850)
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Abstract

Starting from the economic time-and-space problem, the author first shows how Ricardo arrived at his theory of rent and why he neglected the question of location. He then describes Thünen as the father of the theory of economic space. The author is especially interested in discovering the roots of Thünen's doctrine of agricultural location. So he makes use of Thünen's Flottbek experiences with the Hamburg-Altona market in order to show more clearly than is usually done, how Thünen was led to develop his theory of space in market economy. Thünen's theory is then compared with Ricardo's and Thaer's, and the doctrine exposed in "The Isolated State" is described as a combination of an intensity theory with a transport theory. The author is particularly anxious to correct the current impression that Thünen's theory of location is a theory of decreasing intensity towards the periphery, thereby endeavouring to bring out Thünen's central idea, and the significance of the Thünen laws, more clearly. Attention is also given to the way in which the law of marketing distance is applied to the distance between the field and the farm-house. Finally, the author underlines the importance of the fact that Thünen included the social point of view not only in his wages formula, but also in his space theory. He ends up with a general appreciation of the man who must be looked upon as the most ou tstanding economic theoretician and representative of the mathematical method in nineteenth century Germany.

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