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Entrepreneurship in Wiltshire, England, almost 1,000 years ago


  • John McDonald

    () (Flinders Business School, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia)


In the eleventh-century England, the principal economic activity was agricultural production on manorial estates. The paper exploits the Domesday Survey data, collected in 1086, to investigate the entrepreneurial ability of managers of the main classes of estate, king’s, ecclesiastical and lay estates. Wiltshire data are used to assess whether similar production functions describe production on the three classes of estate. Then, data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods are used to assess whether, after controlling for factors that could have affected efficiency, one class of estate was worked more efficiently. Finally, the Wiltshire results are compared with those from an earlier study of Essex. The Wiltshire analysis confirms the conclusions of the Essex study. In both counties, despite differences in institutional structures, there was little difference between production processes and management performance on the three classes of estate.

Suggested Citation

  • John McDonald, 2015. "Entrepreneurship in Wiltshire, England, almost 1,000 years ago," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 9(2), pages 193-207, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:9:y:2015:i:2:p:193-207

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    More about this item


    Domesday Book; DEA; Production functions; Manorial efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models


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