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Landownership in Eastern Germany Before the Great War: A Quantitative Analysis

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  • Eddie, Scott M.

    (Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Toronto)

Abstract

The big landlords of eastern Germany have loomed large in the country's history, but the absence of official statistics on landownership has left their position and identity confined to folklore, without satisfactory quantification. This study, making extensive use of primary sources from the seven 'core provinces' of eastern Germany-the so-called 'East Elbian' region-establishes answers to questions pivotal to our understanding of pre-war Germany: who were the biggest landowners, both by area and by the tax assessment of their land? Which social groups held land? How much land did they own and where? How did this change, especially during the last decades before the Great War? Professor Eddie demonstrates that most of the inroads into landownership by the bourgeoisie had already been made by the mid-1850s, perhaps even before the mid-1830s. However, one of the most interesting findings in this study is that, despite rapid industrialization after 1880, there was a net exodus of the nouveaux riches from the ranks of large land owners. On the eve of war, the largest landowners were the Prussian state, the royalty, and the higher nobility. Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented, this book will be the benchmark for all future work in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Eddie, Scott M., 2008. "Landownership in Eastern Germany Before the Great War: A Quantitative Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198201663.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198201663
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521531429, December.
    2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-32.
    3. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800082, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gray, Rowena, 2013. "Taking technology to task: The skill content of technological change in early twentieth century United States," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 351-367.
    2. Kirsten Wandschneider, 2013. "Lending to Lemons: Landschafts-Credit in 18th Century Prussia," NBER Working Papers 19159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Francesco Cinnirella & Oded Galor & Boris Gershman & Erik Hornung, 2017. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Emergence of Labor Emancipation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6423, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 135-152.
    5. Erik Hornung, 2012. "Human Capital, Technology Diffusion, and Economic Growth - Evidence from Prussian Census Data," ifo Beitr├Ąge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 46, April.
    6. Kirsten Wandschneider, 2014. "Lending to Lemons: Landschaft Credit in Eighteenth-Century Prussia," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 305-325 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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