Friday, April 21, 2017

Notes on the Changing Nature of Land Use

Does land have a discernible or specific economic role? For centuries, land gained value in accordance with its contribution to traditional forms of production. However, land use for production purposes has diminished somewhat, in relation to other roles which continue to grow in importance. In particular, land use roles figure prominently in experiential settings; and a growing association as well, with what is often termed "productive agglomeration".

Among the most obvious and long lived experiential land settings, are those which benefit from tourism and travelers in general. From the spiritual and historical beginnings of centuries earlier as starting points; the twentieth century introduced more ephemeral forms of experiential land use, with examples in the U.S. such as Disney and Las Vegas. For many travelers such as myself, the preservation of land with prominent natural features, is possibly the most valued experiential land use of all.

Sometimes, experiential elements of land value come into play when land loses some of its earlier productive associations. Today, if one wants to own a vineyard for instance, it helps to already be wealthy, first! Surprisingly, today's most important land values are a result of productive agglomeration. One might also describe this phenomenon as the "pinnacle" of economic access, or success. Where land value is highest, so too is human capital as measured fully in terms of monetary value, rather than the (potential) value of one's time.

While land occasionally suffers devaluation due to structural legal issues, property value variance for developed nations is nonetheless closely linked to perceived differences in (local) human capital value. This dearth of human capital value, is also expressed as broad variation in what might otherwise be average land values for developed nations. To some degree, human capital is being shorted, since it has yet to be framed on terms which make possible a full range of economic value. Consequently, land which otherwise holds normal life supporting capacity, remains undervalued alongside its existing relation to human capital.

Today's greatest land values exist in places which especially benefit from the serendipity of productive agglomeration. Human capital is in need of stronger economic representation, as the limits of asymmetric compensation have begun to impose supply side limits which also affect the costs of land in places of productive agglomeration.

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