Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The major objective of this thesis is to comprehend a changing pattern of nineteenth century places and markets in terms of the business location decision and consumer behaviour. A deterministic model of consumer behaviour is developed, which assumes partial multipurpose tripping, a spatially uniform consumption mix, and a distance decay effect on purchase frequency. This model provides a measure of the attraction and accessibility of places. The business location decision is inferred; it is shown that perfect order of entry of businesses in places and non-uniform spacing of places are corollaries of the assumed nature of consumer behaviour. Businessmen in fifty post office settlements serving four Ontario townships between 1882 and 1910 are identified using directory sources. Consumers' location and choice of post office, is reconstructed for 1882 and 1898. Applied to real world conditions, results obtained from the consumer choice model suggest that choice inertia and restricted opportunities for multi-purpose tripping modify market division. Conditions approach the theoretical norm between 1887 and 1898. Consumer choice and business location are associated with population turnover. Choice inertia is positively associated with population persistence. Imitative choice behaviour at the farm level is detected, and consumer choice of post office reflects rural community as well as market structure. Business duration is brief; business relocation within the study area is, however, rare. The quality of business location choice is shown to be related to the changing vacancy rate in the business patter. Business duration varies with the suitability of locations and the size of available markets. It is concluded that the static and dynamic interdependence of market division and business locations accords with expected conditions; change is effected and modified by endemic populations transience. The decline of small places between 1895 and 1910 is implemented through market contraction and business avoidance in a retail environment of continuous change.
Norris, Darrell Alan, "Business location and consumer behaviour 1882-1910, Eastern Grey County, Ontario" (1976). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3324.