Famine and market in Ancien Régime France
AbstractHow—and how well—do food markets function in famine conditions? The controversy surrounding this question may benefit from historical perspective. Here we study two massive famines that struck France between 1693 and 1710, killing over two million people. In both cases the impact of harvest failure was exacerbated by wartime demands on the food supply; we ask whether the crises were exacerbated yet further by a failure of markets to function as they did in normal times. The evidence, we conclude, is most consistent with the view that markets in fact helped alleviate these crises, albeit modestly.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University College Dublin in its series Open Access publications from University College Dublin with number urn:hdl:10197/368.
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Journal of Economic History (2002-09) v.62, p.706-733
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie
Famines--France; Food supply--France;
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