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research notes: A note on the meaning of neo-classical location theory and its usefulness as a basis for applied research


  • Philip McCann

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading RG6 6AW, UK)


This note will argue that the interpretation of neo-classical location-production models, as a possible basis for informing us about real-world phenomena, is not as straightforward as might be supposed. The reason for this is that such models contain implicit assumptions concerning the characteristics of products, the preferences of consumers, and the nature of product input-output hierarchies. Therefore, when we are discussing the behaviour of real-world spatial phenomena, it is necessary to make such assumptions explicit in order to determine the conditions under which such models can be useful analytical tools. It will be shown here that such conditions are so restrictive that these models are not even approximately applicable to most real-world cases.

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  • Philip McCann, 1999. "research notes: A note on the meaning of neo-classical location theory and its usefulness as a basis for applied research," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 78(3), pages 323-331.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:presci:v:78:y:1999:i:3:p:323-331 Note: Received: 27 October 1997

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Firm location; production; input substitution;

    JEL classification:

    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General


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