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

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  • Nancy Qian

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  • Nathan Nunn

    ()

Abstract

In this paper regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas is being exploited, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Their 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 and19th centuries. [Working Paper No. 234]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2792.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2792

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Keywords: Potato; ColumbianExchange; Demography; Agriculture; EconomicDevelopment; Industrialization;

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  1. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Komlos, John, 2003. "An anthropometric history of early-modern France," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 159-189, August.
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  5. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
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  8. 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.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," NBER Working Papers 13367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 509-23, Sept.-Oct.
  12. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
  13. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2006. "Why England? Demographic factors, structural change and physical capital accumulation during the Industrial Revolution," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_003, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  14. Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "The New Econometrics of Structural Change: Dating Breaks in U.S. Labour Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 117-128, Fall.
  15. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  16. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2000. "When Did Globalization Begin?," NBER Working Papers 7632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Thomas Grennes, 2007. "The Columbian Exchange and the Reversal of Fortune," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 27(1), pages 91-107, Winter.
  18. Allen, Robert C., 2008. "The Nitrogen Hypothesis and the English Agricultural Revolution: A Biological Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 182-210, March.
  19. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2010. "The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 163-88, Spring.
  20. Richard Tiffin & Xavier Irz, 2006. "Is agriculture the engine of growth?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 79-89, 07.
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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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