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A Malthusian model for all seasons?

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Sharp

    (Department of Economics [Copenhagen] - Faculty of Social Sciences [Copenhagen] - KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet)

  • Jacob L. Weisdorf

    (Department of Economics [Copenhagen] - Faculty of Social Sciences [Copenhagen] - KU - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

An issue often discussed in relation to agricultural development is the effect on agricultural labour productivity of more intensive land-use. Introducing aspects of seasonality into a stylized Malthusian model, we unify two diverging views by showing that labour productivity may go up or down with agricultural intensification, depending on whether technological progress emerges in relation to cultivation or harvesting activities. Our result rests on evidence reported by Boserup (1965) and others, which suggests that harvest seasons in traditional agriculture are characterized by severe labour shortage.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Sharp & Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2008. "A Malthusian model for all seasons?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586874, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586874
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00586874
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters, in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, Princeton University Press.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural intensification; Boserup; labour surplus; Malthus; seasonality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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