Johann von Thunen

Johann von Thunen

Born: 1780. Died: 1850.

Biography

North German landowner from the Mecklenberg area.

Although educated at Göttingen, he spent most of his life managing his rural estate, Tellow. In the first volume of his treatise, The Isolated State (1826), he laid down the first serious treatment of spatial economics, connecting with the theory of rent. His second volume (1850) developed the essence of the marginal productivity theory of distribution in a mathematically precise way, thereby making one of the most important Proto-Marginalists of the era.

Nearing his death, he asked that his famous equation for the marginal product of labor, or natural wage (w =Ö ap), be carved into his tombstone.

Major Works of Johann von Thunen

- Der isolirte Staat in Beziehung auf Landwirthschaft und Nationalökonomie, oder Untersuchungen über den Einfluss, den die Getreidepreise, der Reichtum des Bodens und die Abgaben auf den Ackerbau ausüben, Vol. 1, 1826
- Der isolirte Staat,etc., Vol II, Der naturgeässe Arbeitslohn und dessen Verhältnis zum Zinsfuss und zur Landrente, Part 1, 1850
- Der isolirte Staat, Vol II, Part 2, 1863
- Der isolirte Staat, Vol. III, 1863

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