What is the Weber Model of Industrial Location?

Lipika Pandey L

One of the important segments contributing to a nation’s economy is its ‘Industries’. There are 3 Models of Locational Theories i.e.

  1. Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location
  2. Alfred Weber’s Theory of Industrial Location
  3. Central place theory

These 3 models are together known as the ‘Location Triad’.

Finding the best location, that is suitable to gain the maximum profit and minimum cost is the major focus of optimum location, which is the base point of Industrial location theory.

Multiple theories have been given concerning the location of the industries but the theory of Alfred Weber is very special.  So, we’ll be discussing Alfred Weber’s model on Industrial Location.


What Factors Do Affect the Location of an Industry?

The location of an industry is influenced by various factors. However, some of the most common factors affecting the location of the industry are as follows – 

  1. Land Availability.
  2. Freshwater Availability.
  3. Skilled, Semi-skilled, and Unskilled labor.
  4. Raw Material Availability.
  5. Government Policies.
  6. Market Facility.
  7. Electricity.
  8. Transportation facilities.

Weber’s Theory of Industrial Location

Alfred Weber, a German Economist gave the guideline of Least transportation cost for the location of an industry. He attempted to find the least cost location of the manufacturing industry by considering three significant factors namely, Transportation cost, Labor cost, and Agglomeration cost. To diminish the intricacies of the real world, he took specific presumptions.


Assumptions Made in Weber’s Theory

  • The geographical area of the industry should be physically, culturally, technologically, and politically uniform.
  • Both the sources of consumption centers and raw materials are known.
  • The transportation cost of the products is reliant upon weight and distance.
  • The labors are geographically fixed.
  • There is perfect competitive pricing among the industries, as high competition can be found.

How the location of an industry is influenced by transportation costs?

As per Weber’s industrial location hypothesis, if the raw materials are weight-losing or tainted, the industries ought to be moved towards the raw material region. Weber utilized the location triangle models for the manufacturing industries which can utilize more than one raw material.

How the location of an industry is influenced by the labor cost?

As per Weber’s least labor cost hypothesis, if at any specific location, the labor cost is very cheap, the industry would be moved from the least transportation cost to the least labor cost provided the saving in labor cost would be more prominent than any extra transportation cost.

How the location of an industry is influenced by the agglomeration? 

As indicated by Weber’s agglomeration hypothesis of industrial location, infrastructural factors can likewise impact the location of an industry more than the transportation cost and labor cost as many lights industries can’t put resources into structural facilities. According to this hypothesis, the industry ought to be moved towards agglomeration if the agglomeration factor is more remarkable than the combined factors of transportation and labor cost.


Criticism of Weber’s Theory 

  1. The role of product demands for the location of the industry was not considered. However, the role of supply was over-emphasized.  
  2. There cannot be a region that is perfectly uniform physically, culturally, technologically, and, politically. But the consideration was made to overcome the practical complexities.
  3. The labor force is considered static, but this is not the ideal case.
  4. The political factors have not been considered, but in reality, there are political and governmental factors influencing the location of an industry.
  5. The role of transportation cost has been over-emphasized.
  6. Finding a perfect competitive pricing product is not possible, but it has been considered.

Concluding Words!

Regardless of all drawbacks, the iron and steel industry at Jamshedpur (Tata steel) in India and Essen in Germany can be better perceived with Weber’s hypothesis of the location of an industry. Additionally, the manufacturing industries are turning out to be more perplexing nowadays because of technological advancements. Also, the 21st-century industries are focusing more on semi-finished products rather than raw materials.


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