Johann Heinrich Von Thünen

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Thünen, Johann Heinrich Von


Born June 24, 1783, in Kanarienhausen, near the city of Jever; died Sept. 22, 1850, in Tellow, Mecklenburg. German agriculturalist.

Thünen investigated the influence of the situation factor, that is, distance from the market, on the profitability and organization of agriculture, as well as on differential rent, prices, and wages. He held that the most profitable agricultural organization is one where the degree of intensiveness corresponds to proximity to the market. A studied ignorance of the changes occurring in production predetermined the weakness of his theoretical position. Although Thünen contributed nothing new to the bourgeois theory of rent, his research is interesting for its analysis of differential rent. Thünen thought it possible to reconcile the interests of labor and capital, and he propounded an oversimplified theory according to which wages would be determined by marginal labor productivity.


Der isolierte Staat in Beziehung auf Landwirtschaft und Nationalökonomie, 3rd ed., vols. 1–3. Berlin, 1875.