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Popish Habits vs. Nutritional Need: Fasting and Fish Consumption in Iberia in the Early Modern Period

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  • Regina Grafe

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Abstract

Studies of consumption in early modern Europe fall into two groups. Some have looked at the overall supply of nutritional components to the average consumer in an attempt to trace standards of living. Others have examined the changing demand for particular goods by specific consumers to understand the way in which new goods and cultural and taste changes impacted on the economy. Few have tried to look at the interactions between both. By combining the contradictory evidence coming from supply and demand sides, new interpretations of the evidence emerge. Data on the supply of dried salted codfish (bacalao) to the Iberian markets and data available on the consumption of this good by specific groups of consumers are used to explain how this fish became a staple foodstuff in the Iberian diet. The existing literature has invoked both religion and cheapness as explanatory variables. This paper argues that both played an important role but that the overall increase was ultimately driven by the slow but continuous integration of more consumers into the market between 1600 and 1800.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Oxford University Economic and Social History Series with number _055.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_055

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Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Hans-Joachim Voth & Dan H. Andersen, 1997. "Neutrality and Mediterranean Shipping Under Danish Flag, 1750-1807," Economics Series Working Papers 1997-W18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Avner Offer, 2002. "Why has the Public Sector Grown so Large in Market Societies? The Political Economy of Prudence in the UK, c. 1870-2000," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _044, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Valpy Fitzgerald & Pablo Astorga, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Economics Series Working Papers 2003-W52, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Avner Offer, 1998. "Epidemicsof Abundance: Overeating and Slimming in the USA and Britain since the 1950s," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W25, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Regina Grafe, 2004. "Popish habits vs. nutritional need: Fasting and fish consumption in Iberia in the early modern period," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Voth, Hans-Joachim, 1998. "Time and Work in Eighteenth-Century London," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 29-58, March.
  7. Elaine Tan, 2002. ""The Bull is Half the Herd": Property Rights and Enclosures in England, 1750-1850," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _046, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Ame Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2004. "The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W54, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Paul A. David, 1997. "Path Dependence and the Quest for Historical Economics: One More chorus of Ballad of QWERTY," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _020, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. Pablo Astorga, Ame R. Berges and Valpy FitzGerald, . "The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century," QEH Working Papers qehwps103, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  11. Tim Leunig, 1998. "New Answers to Old Questions: Transport Costs and the Slow Adoption of Ring Spinning in Lancashire," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _022, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  12. Teresa da Silva Lopes, 2004. "Evolution of Corporate Governance in Global Industries: The Case of Multinationals in Alcoholic Beverages," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W53, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Avner Offer, 2000. "Economic Welfare Measurements and Human Well-Being," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _034, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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Cited by:
  1. Jane Humphries & Tim Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the Standard of Living in Early Nineteenth-Century England and Wales," Economics Series Working Papers 2007-W66, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Regina Grafe, 2004. "Popish Habits vs. Nutritional Need: Fasting and Fish Consumption in Iberia in the Early Modern Period," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _055, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Regina Grafe & Camilla Brautaset, 2006. "The Quiet Transport Revolution: Returns to Scale, Scope and Network Density in Norway`s Nineteenth-Century Sailing Fleet," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Educational Disparity in East and West Pakistan, 1947–71: Was East Pakistan Discriminated Against?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _063, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Natalia Mora-Sitja, 2006. "Exploring Changes in Earnings Inequality during Industrialization: Barcelona, 1856-1905," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W61, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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