Hotelling (1921) proposed a model for the growth and spatial dispersion of populations. Growth was modelled on Malthusian principles as a logistic process, whereas Fourier’s heat diffusion was the source of inspiration for migratory processes in space. A saturation density of population was assumed, if the actual density was higher, population decreased, if the actual density was lower, population increased. The reason for spatial diffusion stated was that people move from more to less densely populated regions when per capita output decreases with increasing population (=labour force), as it does under decreasing returns.
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