Allan Pred

Allan Richard Pred (* 1936 in New York; † January 5, 2007 in Berkeley ) was an American geographer.


Pred 1953-1957 attended the Antioch College and in 1962 from the University of Chicago for the Ph.D. doctorate.

In 1962, he was first an assistant professor of geography at the University of Berkeley, in 1971 a professor there. From 1979 to 1988 he was head of the geographical faculty in Berkeley -. , He was there in 2005 professor at the Graduate School.

Pred was married to a Swede and moved his residence regularly between Berkeley and Sweden.

Behavioural location theory by Pred

Based on concepts of diffusion of Geography Torsten Haeger beach (1952-1953) and others, who traced the spatial distribution and dissemination of innovations in learning processes and information processes, Allan Pred developed from 1967, a novel location- theoretical model. In contrast to deductive neoclassical location theories of Alfred Weber, Walter Isard and David M. Smith tried Pred the entrepreneurial choice of location to explain the behavioral sciences.

While the neoclassical theories are all implicitly proceeded from an objective point of view and a uniform level of information, imputed Pred that entrepreneurs have different information and skills on site selection.

His theory by choosing a business location depends on which information (eg transport costs, labor costs, etc.) the contractor are available and how able he is to evaluate this data so that it finds the optimal position. Additionally, others ( non-material ) values ​​lead to an economically sub-optimal choice. Or the entrepreneur can not evaluate the data, but it takes a very favorable location because it mimics the behavior of successful competitions.

In addition, Pred integrates the temporal component, by starting from that information, information booth, skills and values ​​change over time and can lead to relocation.

Basis: Decision-making

Fundamental to the location decision of each firm is in Preds model the decision of the relevant decision-maker. With the emergence of a decision, the following stages of information processing can be distinguished, the companies controlling different well due to differences in financial and human resources:

  • Acquisition of information: It is associated with costs and, therefore, depending on the available resources. The recording of information by the people is a subjective process than filtering suitable appearing Information from the infinite number information of the environment.
  • Information processing: Also it depends on the resources available. Even with high-quality information processing all the possible alternatives can never be tested by the decision makers. Makers can be found therefore also tend to a subjectively satisfactory solution.
  • Decision: Objectives and value system of the decision makers contribute significantly to decision-making.

Behavioral matrix

Because of financial considerations and the often necessary time urgency, an analysis of all possible alternative sites is often not possible or makes sense of the actually used location search space of Companies often contains only small part of the possible alternatives, such as the locations in only one region. Within this search space resulting spatial gain regions, ie profitable location areas a local profit-optimized site. The model shows that make themselves at first sight irrational or random location preferences with a small number of evaluated alternatives a profitable, albeit sub-optimal location decision possible.

The empirical study of location decisions Pred has developed a " behavorial matrix" ( matrix of behavior ), in the company of one hand the quality and quantity of their information is entered, on the other hand, their entrepreneurial ability to use this information. Pred distinguished the following cases:

  • For companies that have a good level of information and information efficiently, will decide with high probability for a profitable production location. However, not necessarily the profit optimal location is chosen: often suboptimal locations for family reasons or subjective values ​​out however chosen within a profit.
  • Companies with average level of information and average information processing opt for sub-optimal production locations that are far from the optimal location, but still within the profit zones.
  • Ill-informed companies with poor problem-solving capacity actually choose locations that are outside of the profit zones and thus the long term are not competitive. This can lead to accidental profitable location decisions subjective decision reasons, however.

However, companies can make a profitable location decisions also by " imitation" successful, resettled in one location businesses.

Preds conclusions from the empirical study were:

  • Of information and business performance on the one hand and quality of location decision on the other hand are strongly correlated positively with high probability.
  • Contractor with the same level of information and the same information capacity utilization can choose different locations due to personal preferences, or because of coincidences.

Dynamic view

The inclusion of time as an additional dimension Pred extended his approach to other aspects: the information available to the decision-makers may increase over time. How can facilitate the flow of information within the company or between companies and business environment new communication techniques. Also, the ability to process information can be improved by new technology, as well as by the opportunity to learn from their own and others' mistakes and to copy successful location decisions. The decisions of the company are thus long-term rational and always work towards a shift in corporate locations to the location of the optimum.

Of information and information processing quality of individual companies in the course of time, however, can also decrease, eg when changing location requirements of the Company and site conditions of the alternative locations. Learning from your mistakes is hampered by the financial resources necessary for the competitiveness of a re- siting investment may be missing in new technologies and capable staff with a previous poor choice of location.


The behavioral science approach tried first to understand the actual decisions when choosing a location. Theoretical explanation behavior models could be repeatedly confirmed empirically. Critically, it was noted that psychological and subjective motivations of the choice of location would be overstated because the classic location factors in this model hardly play a role and the realities of the physical geography and transport systems are not considered. Just as the neoclassical theory of the "homo psychologicus " negligible, leaving the behavioral science approach to the "homo economicus " largely ignored.