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Adult mortality and investment: a new explanation of the English agricultural productivity in the 18th century

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  • Nicolini, Esteban A.

Abstract

We claim that the exogenous decline of adult mortality at the end of the seventeenth century can be one of the causes driving both the decline of interest rate and the increase in agricultural production per acre in preindustrial England. Following the intuition of the life-cycle hypothesis, we show that the increase in adult life expectancy must have implied less farmer impatience and it could have caused more investment in nitrogen stock and land fertility, and higher production per acre. We analyse this dynamic interaction using an overlapping generation model and show that the evolution of agricultural production and capital rates of return predicted by the model coincide fairly well with their empirical pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolini, Esteban A., 2001. "Adult mortality and investment: a new explanation of the English agricultural productivity in the 18th century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wh016301, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wh016301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Longevity Tends to Change Economic Behavior for the Better
      by Reason in fight aging on 2009-12-23 04:18:39

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