Because no man created the land, it does not have a definite original proprietor, owner or user.
No man made the land. It is the original inheritance of the whole species.
-- John Stuart Mill
As a consequence, conflicting claims on geographic locations and mineral deposits have historically led to disputes over their economic rent and contributed to many civil wars and revolutions.
In the context of geographic locations the resulting conflict is regularly understood as the land question (see e.g. United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada).
Addressing the land question
Land reform programs are designed to redistribute possession and/or use of geographic land.
Georgists hold that this implies a perfectly inelasticsupply curve (i.e., zero elasticity), suggesting that a land value tax that recovers the rent of land for public purposes would not affect the opportunity cost of using land, but would instead only decrease the value of owning it. This view is supported by evidence that although land can come on and off the market, market inventories of land show if anything an inverse relationship to price (i.e., negative elasticity).
Land plays an important role in advanced economies. In the UK the "non-produced asset of land" accounts for 51% of the country's total net worth, implying that it plays a more important role in the economy than capital.
Some United Kingdom and commonwealth universities offer a courses in land economy, where economics is studied alongside law, business regulation, surveying and the built and natural environments. This mode of study at Cambridge dates back to 1917 when William Cecil Dampier suggested the creation of a school of rural economy at the university.
João Pedro Galhano Alves (2009). "The artificial simulacrum world. The geopolitical elimination of communitary land use and its effects on our present global condition", Eloquent Books, New York, USA, 71 pp.
Pierre Coulomb (1994). "De la terre à l'état: Eléments pour un cours de politique agricole", ENGREF, INRA-ESR Laboratoire d'Economie des Transitions, Montpellier, France, 47 pp.