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How Valid is Classical Location Theory in Explaining the Location of Present Day Manufacturing Industry

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Introduction

How Valid is Classical Location Theory in Explaining the Location of Present Day Manufacturing Industry The main school of thought related to classical theory is brought about by Weber (1909). This theory is the most standard and simple belief of the choice for location of industry. Weberian belief is based upon the times in which they were created and adaptations have since been made. One of the main theorists that developed Weber's first idea was a man named D. N. Smith in 1971. Hoover also divided Weber's theory up to make it more realistic. Weber made his theory based on his own time and therefore it is difficult to transfer completely to the post-modern economy of today. As in real life situations there are many complications across many different areas Weber created some simplifying assumptions which make it easier to generalise from country to country or town to town for example. These assumptions are brought to universalise places with different circumstances. An example of these assumptions would be that the land is isotropic i.e. flat, which would mean that anybody can technically build anywhere (unless it is already built upon), therefore transport costs are equal. ...read more.

Middle

Smith's theory is also based on rigid guidelines and do not necessarily take into account labour costs or agglomerate economies. His theory will work only if the owners of the firms are homo-economicus, i.e. all knowing and intelligent, but it is not always the case that they are aware of all the facts before deciding where to locate or may have personal reasons for their decision. People may not decide to locate their firm at the maximum profit location due to a number of factors. Firstly competition is major, in that there is limited labour and space, which may cause bid rent, land values and overall labour prices to rise. The government also comes into use here, because it offers incentives for certain things such as environmentally friendly movements, such as offering subsidies, grants or tax breaks. However, there are also disincentives that limit areas to develop, such as greenbelt legislation from 1944, SSSI's and AOAB's etc. Hoover developed Weber's model further dividing cost-minimisation two ways: * Terminal Costs (fixed) e.g. Lorry, carriages, cranes etc. * Haulage (variable) e.g. fuel, wages (labour) etc. According to Hoover, the cost per unit varies, often the cost per unit is higher because you have to take into account terminal costs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Transport is varied compared to when Weber made his 1 mode of transport, which may have been horse and cart. In conclusion, Weber's theory is reasonably applicable to todays world. This is highlighted by Corus located by their raw material incoming via ships and therefore establishing near the coast. However this type of industry is limited to a few number of firms and therefore cannot be generalised to all firms especially because the primary sector in the U.K. is declining. Weber put forward his agglomerate economies theory, which is also related to the latest trends of hi-tech industries. However, his theory was specifically related to primary industry and not any footloose industry as there were none or very little in his time, therefore his reasons for this may not be equal to the reasons for these current firms. Overall, I believe that some of Weber's theories are transferable to today's world, but he has expressed them from the understanding of his time and that the post-modern economy is far more complex and that Smith and Hoover are better at showing realistic theories to apply from. But, is it possible to make a theory applicable to all of time and universally designed for all sectors of industry, remaining simple and taking into account individual complexities?!?!? Kaher Mohammed 13B Geography ...read more.

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