IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mcl/mclwop/2007-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What'S Space Got To Do With It? Distance And Agricultural Productivity Before The Railway Age

Author

Listed:
  • George Grantham

    ()

Abstract

Owing to the high cost of transporting farm produce before the railway age, the land-intensiveness of European mixed farming caused both production and consumption of foodstuffs and intermediate farm inputs in the steady state to be highly dispersed, a spatial configuration offering weak inducement to reorganize farm structure or to invest available labour and capital with a view to increasing output. In such conditions the most common cause of rising agricultural productivity was spatial concentration of demand, which raised the demand price of farm produce and farm inputs within the privileged space bounded by discontinuities in the cost of land transport. The ultimate cause of observed changes in agricultural productivity before the nineteenth century must therefore be sought outside the farming sector in the development of markets for tradable manufactures, tradable services, and the economies of scale in their provision that supported spatial concentration of population.

Suggested Citation

  • George Grantham, 2007. "What'S Space Got To Do With It? Distance And Agricultural Productivity Before The Railway Age," Departmental Working Papers 2007-10, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2007-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/whatsspacegot.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:mcl:mclwop:2007-10. 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: (Shama Rangwala). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demcgca.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.