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GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY:

The mobility, or movement, of factors of production from a productive activity in one location to a productive activity in another location. In particular, geographic mobility is the ease with which resources can change locations. This is one of two types of mobility. The other is occupational mobility.
Geographic mobility is the ease of movement of resources between locations. Some factors are highly mobile and thus are easily switched. Other factors are highly immobile and not easily switched. For example, a worker leaves a job in one city and takes a job in another city. Some factors are highly mobile and thus are easily moved between cities, states, and even countries. Other factors are less mobile and not easily relocated.

To illustrate geographic mobility, consider the factors of production used by Hector Hamilton, a farmer residing on the outskirts of Shady Valley. Hector's key factors are farmland, capital equipment (especially a tractor and a big red barn), and assorted labor (including himself and a couple of hired hands). Hector also uses seeds, fertilizer, assorted chemicals, water, and electricity. How mobile are Hector's factors?

  • Land: A key factor input used by Hector is land, especially farmland. Hector's farmland has virtually zero geographical mobility. It is where it is, on the outskirts of Shady Valley, and cannot be moved easily anywhere else. In comparison, many of Hector's other land (material) inputs tend to have high geographic mobility. Seeds, fertilizer, chemicals, and electricity can be sent to almost anywhere in the country (or in the world for that matter). Water is little less mobile, but it can be moved long distances at relatively low cost.

    As a general rule, the materials of land have greater geographic mobility that the space and accessibility features of land.

  • Capital: Hector uses an assortment of capital. Hector's tractor is relatively mobile. It can be loaded onto a truck and shipped to another state to engage in other farming pursuits. The mobility of Hector's big red barn falls between the farmland and the tractor. The big red barn could be disassembled, loaded onto a truck, and reassembled to engage in other farming pursuits in another states. But such a task is significantly more involved than moving the tractor.

    As a general rule, equipment has greater geographic mobility that structures.

  • Labor: Hector's workers are relatively mobile, perhaps even more so than Hector's tractor. In particular, one of Hector's workers, Victor, is young, unmarried, has no family, rents a room over Hector's garage, and is independently wealthy. He could easily hop a freight train and seek employment in another state. Victor is quite mobile, geographically speaking.

    Hector's other worker, Becker, is a little older, married to Hector's daughter, has three children in school, and is buying a parcel of farmland from Hector. Becker could leave for greener pastures in another state, but not nearly as easily as Victor. Becker is certainly more geographically mobile than the farmland and the big red barn, but probably less so than Hector's tractor.

    As a general rule, labor that tends to be older, with more community connections and family ties, and has more job tenure, tends to be less geographically mobile.

  • Entrepreneurship: Hector, as the owner/entrepreneur of the farm, is likely the least geographically mobile of the human resource factors used in this farming production. Being a fifth generation owner who is rapidly approaching sixty, Hector has deep ties to his farmland, to the community, and his established way of live. While he is physically able to relocate to another state, he is emotionally unwilling to do so.

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Recommended Citation:

GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2017. [Accessed: August 23, 2017].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | mobility | occupational mobility | factor supply curve | factor supply determinants | supply to a firm | supply by a firm |


Or For A Little Background...

     | factor supply | factors of production | factor market analysis | marginal factor cost | market supply | price elasticity of supply |


And For Further Study...

     | marginal revenue product | marginal physical product | factor demand | monopsony | bilateral monopoly | oligopsony | monopsonistic competition | market structures |


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