IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/exehis/v58y2015icp74-92.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Variations in the price and quality of English grain, 1750–1914: Quantitative evidence and empirical implications

Author

Listed:
  • Brunt, Liam
  • Cannon, Edmund

Abstract

Interpretation of historic grain price data may be hazardous owing to systematic grain quality variation — both cross sectionally and over varying time horizons (intra-year, inter-year, long run). We use the English wheat market, 1750–1914, as an example to quantify this issue. First, we show that bushel weight approximates grain quality. Then we show that cross sectional and intra-year variation are substantial and problematic, generating erroneous inference regarding market integration. Long run variation is significant, due to sharply declining international quality differentials, and this impacts estimated cost of living changes. By contrast, inter-year variation is smaller and controlled for more easily.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunt, Liam & Cannon, Edmund, 2015. "Variations in the price and quality of English grain, 1750–1914: Quantitative evidence and empirical implications," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 74-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:58:y:2015:i:c:p:74-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2015.06.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498315000285
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Velkar,Aashish, 2012. "Markets and Measurements in Nineteenth-Century Britain," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107023338, April.
    2. Liam Brunt & Edmund Cannon, 2004. "The Irish grain trade from the Famine to the First World War," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(1), pages 33-79, February.
    3. Liam Brunt & Edmund Cannon, 2013. "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: the English Corn Returns as a data source in economic history, 1770-1914," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 318-339, August.
    4. Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2007. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1189-1216, September.
    5. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2002. "The Red Queen and the Hard Reds: Productivity Growth in American Wheat, 1800–1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(04), pages 929-966, December.
    6. Jorg Baten & Dorothee Crayen & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2014. "Numeracy and the Impact of High Food Prices in Industrializing Britain, 1780–1850," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 418-430, July.
    7. William Hynes & David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'rourke, 2012. "Commodity market disintegration in the interwar period," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 119-143, May.
    8. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2004. "Mind the gap! Transport costs and price convergence in the nineteenth century Atlantic economy," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 125-147, August.
    9. Feinstein, Charles H., 1998. "Pessimism Perpetuated: Real Wages and the Standard of Living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 625-658, September.
    10. Gregory Clark, 2001. "Farm Wages and Living Standards in the Industrial Revolution: England,1670–1869[This resea]," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 54(3), pages 477-505, August.
    11. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol H., 2014. "Endogenous Formation of Free Trade Agreements: Evidence from the Zollverein's Impact on Market Integration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(04), pages 1168-1204, December.
    12. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2003. "Hog-Round Marketing, Seed Quality, and Government Policy: Institutional Change in U.S. Cotton Production, 1920 1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 447-488, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Branko Boskovic & Linda Nøstbakken, 2016. "How do Land Markets Anticipate Regulatory Change? Evidence from Canadian Conservation Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5956, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Basberg, Bjørn L., 2015. "Keynes, Trouton and the Hector Whaling Company. A personal and professional relationship," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 8/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    3. Basberg, Bjørn L., 2015. "Commercial and Economic Aspects of Antarctic Exploration From the Earliest Discoveries into the 19th Century," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 13/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Sandmo, Agnar, 2015. "The Public Economics of Climate Change," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 27/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grain quality; Measurement error; Markets; Cost of living;

    JEL classification:

    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:58:y:2015:i:c:p:74-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.