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Adult Mortality And Investment: A New Explanation Of The English Agricultural Productivity In The 18th Century

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  • Esteban A. Nicolini

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Abstract

We claim that the exogenous decline of adult mortality at the end of the seventeenth century can be one of the causes driving both the decline of interest rate and the increase in agricultural production per acre in preindustrial England. Following the intuition of the life-cycle hypothesis, we show that the increase in adult life expectancy must have implied less farmer impatience and it could have caused more investment in nitrogen stock and land fertility, and higher production per acre. We analyse this dynamic interaction using an overlapping generation model and show that the evolution of agricultural production and capital rates of return predicted by the model coincide fairly well with their empirical pattern.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wh016301.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wh016301

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  1. Liam Brunt, 1995. "Turning Water into Wine New Methods of Calculating Farm Output and New Insights into Rising Crop Yields during the Agricultural Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 1995-W02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert C. Allen, 1999. "Tracking the agricultural revolution in England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 52(2), pages 209-235, 05.
  3. Liam Brunt,, 1995. "Turning Water into Wine New Methods of Calculating Farm Output and New Insights into Rising Crop Yields during the Agricultural Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _002, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Kearl, J. R. & Pope, Clayne L., 1983. "The Life Cycle in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 149-158, March.
  5. Clark, Gregory, 1992. "The Economics of Exhaustion, the Postan Thesis, and the Agricultural Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 61-84, March.
  6. Hans-Joachim Voth, 1997. "Time and Work in Eighteenth-Century London," Economics Series Working Papers 1997-W21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Clark, Gregory, 1988. "The cost of capital and medieval agricultural technique," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 265-294, July.
  8. Liam Brunt, 1997. "Nature or Nurture? Explaining English Wheat Yields in the Agricultural Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 1997-W19, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Allen, Robert C., 1988. "Inferring Yields from Probate Inventories," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 117-125, March.
  10. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  11. Kuehlwein, Michael, 1993. "Life-Cycle and Altruistic Theories of Saving with Lifetime Uncertainty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 38-47, February.
  12. Clark, Gregory, 1990. "Enclosure, land improvement, and the price of capital : A Reply to Jones," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 356-362, July.
  13. Di Matteo, Livio, 1998. "Wealth Accumulation and the Life-Cycle in Economic History: Implications of Alternative Approaches to Data," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 296-324, July.
  14. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
  15. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Horrell, Sara & Oxley, Deborah, 2000. "Work and prudence: Household responses to income variation in nineteenth-century Britain," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 27-57, April.
  17. Liam Brunt, 1997. "Nature or Nurture? Explaining English Wheat Yields in the Agricultural Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _019, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  1. Longevity Tends to Change Economic Behavior for the Better
    by Reason in fight aging on 2009-12-22 22:18:39

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