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The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence from an Historical Experiment

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  • Nunn, Nathan
  • Qian, Nancy

Abstract

We exploit regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Our results show that the introduction of the potato was responsible for a significant portion of the increase in population and urbanization observed during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7364.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7364

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Keywords: agriculture; Columbian Exchange; Demography; Economic Development; Industrialization; potato;

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  2. Robert W. Fogel, 1986. "Nutrition and the Decline in Mortality since 1700: Some Preliminary Findings," NBER Chapters, in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 439-556 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," MPRA Paper 4134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Nunn, Nathan & Qian, Nancy, 2010. "The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas," Scholarly Articles 11986330, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. van Driel, Hans & Nadall, Venuta & Zeelenberg, Kees, 1997. "The Demand for Food in the United States and the Netherlands: A Systems Approach with the CBS Model: Reply," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 530-32, Sept.-Oct.
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  1. Simple Spatial Correlograms for Cross-Country Analysis in R
    by diffuseprior in DiffusePrioR on 2012-05-09 14:32:09
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