Land (economics)

In economics, land comprises all naturally occurring resources as well as geographic land. Examples include particular geographical locations, mineral deposits, forests, fish stocks, atmospheric quality, geostationary orbits, and portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Supply of these resources is fixed.[1]


Natural resources are fundamental to the production of all goods, including capital goods. Location values are not be confused with values imparted by fixed capital improvements. In classical economics, land is considered one of the three factors of production (also sometimes called the three producer goods) along with capital, and labor. Land is sometimes merged with capital to simplify micro-economics. However, a common mistake is combining land and capital in macro-analysis.

Land was sometimes defined in classical and neoclassical economics as the "original and indestructible powers of the soil."[2]

Ownership and rent

Income derived from ownership or control of natural resources is referred to as rent.


Georgists hold that this implies a perfectly inelastic supply curve (i.e., zero elasticity), suggesting that a land value tax that recovers the rent of land for public purposes would not affect the opportunity cost of using land, but would instead only decrease the value of owning it. This view is supported by evidence that although land can come on and off the market, market inventories of land show if anything an inverse relationship to price (i.e., negative elasticity).


As a tangible asset land is represented in accounting as a fixed asset or a capital asset.


Land, particularly geographic locations and mineral deposits, has historically been the cause of much conflict and dispute; land reform programs, which are designed to redistribute possession and/or use of geographic land, are often the cause of much controversy, and conflicts over the economic rent of mineral deposits have contributed to many civil wars.


Some United Kingdom and common wealth universities offer a courses in land economy, where economics is studied alongside law, business regulation, surveying and the built and natural environments.[3][4][5] This mode of study at Cambridge dates back to 1917 when William Cecil Dampier suggested the creation of a school of rural economy at the university.[6]


The sustainable use of land is the focus of some economic theories.[7]

See also


  1. "Land - economics".
  2. Fisher, Ernest M. (17 May 2018). "Economic Aspects of Urban Land Use Patterns". The Journal of Industrial Economics. 6 (3): 198–208. doi:10.2307/2097629. JSTOR 2097629.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  4. "Land Economy - Rural Surveying - Postgraduate Taught Degrees - Study Here - The University of Aberdeen".
  5. (, Site designed and built by Hydrant. "Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) - The Commonwealth".
  6. "A brief history of Land Economy — Department of Land Economy".
  7. "Rethinking the Land Economy: Keeping 1.5°C in Sight by Bernice Lee". Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy.

Further reading

  • Anthony C. Fisher (1987). "Natural resources," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 3, pp. 612–14.
  • João Pedro Galhano Alves (2009). "The artificial simulacrum world. The geopolitical elimination of communitary land use and its effects on our present global condition", Eloquent Books, New York, USA, 71 pp.
  • Pierre Coulomb (1994). "De la terre à l’état: Eléments pour un cours de politique agricole", ENGREF, INRA-ESR Laboratoire d’Economie des Transitions, Montpellier, France, 47 pp.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.