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Why is the von Thunen model still relevant today in spite of its weaknesses?

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joyc3xp | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted February 7, 2012 at 7:58 AM via web

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Why is the von Thunen model still relevant today in spite of its weaknesses?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM (Answer #1)

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The von Thunen model has weaknesses because it does not allow for things like roads or railroads that make it easier to transport goods over long distances.  He also does not anticipate things like refrigerated transport that would allow even perishable things to be transported over long distances.

The von Thunen model is most relevant today in less developed countries.  There, the development of transportation and food preservation is much less than in rich countries and von Thunen's model still applies to a greater degree.  In the rich world, the model is also applicable in that it emphasizes that land near to cities is more expensive and therefore cannot really be used for uses that do not bring in a great deal of money per unit of land area.

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