Impact of Uncertainty on Locationby Michael Webber
Until now, the effects of uncertainty on location patterns have remained largely unexplored. Theories about the way in which firms make decisions to locate have long been restricted by the assumption that they know all the relevant facts when the decisions are made. This book attempts to generalize location theory to take account of the fact that the opposite is more often the case—firms are uncertain when they make their decisions.
Taking a theoretical rather than empirical approach to the problem, the book discusses such topics as the location of duopolists, the patterns of towns, the production decisions of firms, and the impact of widespread innovations on location. In addition, it contains a collection of largely independent models that need to be more fully tested and combined into a mathematical theory.
Walter Isard writes in his foreword that "regardless of the viewpoint to which the reader is sympathetic, he will find the Webber book to be an important contribution to location theory. It does a fine job of surveying and critically evaluating, in a consistent analytical manner, many of the advances during the last fifteen years of rapid growth of location theory; consequently, location students can now obtain a better view of the field as a whole. More important, this book goes beyond a critical analytical survey. It focuses attention on an area seriously neglected by location theorists, namely the impact of uncertainty upon location decisions and spatial patterns. Webber states the case for studying this impact. It is a sound case. Further, Webber is not misled about his contribution. He modestly views his book as 'a preliminary account of one direction in which new location theory may profitably evolve."
The book is a volume in the MIT Regional Science Studies Series, of which Walter Isard is General Editor.
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