Choices and Constraints in the Pre-Industrial Countryside
AbstractThis paper explores a key implication of Richard Smith's work on agrarian societies: the need to be attentive both to rural people's decisions as economic agents and to the constraints on their choices. It begins by examining evidence of goal-maximizing behaviour by rural people â€“ not just peasant farmers but women, servants, serfs, landless workers, youths, and many others â€“ in a diversity of pre-industrial societies. It then analyses some central constraints within which rural people made their choices: family and inheritance systems, village communities, manorial systems, legal rules and customs, and the actions of rulers. It concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for understanding the functioning of rural economies, now widely recognized as central to long-term improvements in economic growth and human well-being.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge in its series Working Papers with number 1.
Length: 18,987 words
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2012
peasant; economic rationality; family; community; serfdom; government;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- BAS J. P. van BAVEL & JAN LUITEN van ZANDEN, 2004. "The jump-start of the Holland economy during the late-medieval crisis, c.1350-c.1500 -super-1 ," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(3), pages 503-532, 08.
- Gregory Clark, 2007.
"Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
[A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007.
"The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins,"
NBER Working Papers
13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Küpker, Markus & Maegraith, Janine, 2012. "Household Debt in Early Modern Germany: Evidence from Personal Inventories," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 134-167, March.
- van Zanden, Jan L., 1999. "Wages and the standard of living in Europe, 1500 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 175-197, August.
- Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2001. "The Economic World of the Bohemian Serf: Economic Concepts, Preferences, and Constraints on the Estate of Friedland, 1583–1692[I should l]," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 54(3), pages 430-453, 08.
- Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, 02.
- Dennison,Tracy, 2011. "The Institutional Framework of Russian Serfdom," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521194488, October.
- Van Zanden, Jan Luiten & Prak, Maarten, 2006. "Towards an economic interpretation of citizenship: The Dutch Republic between medieval communes and modern nation-states," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 111-145, August.
- Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2007. "'Whatever is, is right'? Economic institutions in pre-industrial Europe -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(4), pages 649-684, November.
- Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Edwards, Jeremy, 2000. "Women and the “Second Serfdom”: Evidence from Early Modern Bohemia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 961-994, December.
- T. K. Dennison & Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2007. "Serfdom and social capital in Bohemia and Russia -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(3), pages 513-544, 08.
- Volckart Oliver, 2004. "Die Dorfgemeinde als Kartell: Kooperationsprobleme und ihre Lösungen im Mittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 45(2), pages 189-204, December.
- Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Carus, A.W., 2014. "Institutions and Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 403-513 Elsevier.
- repec:cge:warwcg:175 is not listed on IDEAS
- Klein, Alexander & Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2013. "Occupational Structure in the Czech Lands Under the Second Serfdom," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 176, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Price).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.