What'S Space Got To Do With It? Distance And Agricultural Productivity Before The Railway Age
This paper argues that the conventional Malthusian account of pre-modern economies as constrained by diminishing returns resulting from a fixed land supplied is flawed because it does not recognize the importance of systematic indivisibilities in the production and distribution of farm produce that supported increasing return to additional inputs when the demand price of produce warranted them. Those indivisibilities locked in low-intensity farming practices in places where the demand for produce was diffuse. Most of pre-industrial Europe was in that situation, so average agricultural productivity was low. It was only in regions where urban concentrations of consumers aggregated demand to a level capable of inducing extra investment to exploit latent returns to scale in farming and transportation that the productivity of traditional mixed farming achieved its full potential.
|Date of creation:||May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (514) 398-3030
Fax: (514) 398-4938
Web page: http://www.repec.mcgill.ca
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Turner, 1982. "Agricultural Productivity in England in the Eighteenth Century: Evidence from Crop Yields," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 35(4), pages 489-510, November.
- John Komlos & Richard Landes, 1991.
"Anachronistic economics: grain storage in medieval England,"
Economic History Review,
Economic History Society, vol. 44(1), pages 36-45, 02.
- John Komlos & Richard Landes, . "Anachronistic Economics: Grain Storage in Medieval England," Articles by John Komlos 23, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
- Crafts, N. F. R., 1987. "British economic growth, 1700-1850; some difficulties of interpretation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 245-268, July.
- F. M. L. Thompson, 1976. "Nineteenth-Century Horse Sense," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 29(1), pages 60-81, 02.
- John H. A. Munro, 2005.
"Spanish Merino Wools and the Nouvelles Draperies: An Industrial Transformation in the Late-Medieval Low Countries,"
munro-04-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Munro, John H., 2004. "Spanish Merino wools and the Nouvelles Draperies: an industrial transformation in the late-medieval Low Countries," MPRA Paper 15808, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2005.
- A. S. Kussmaul, 1981. "The Ambiguous Mobility of Farm Servants," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 34(2), pages 222-235, 05.
- Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, 08.
- J. A. Chartres, 1977. "Road Carrying in England in the Seventeenth Century: Myth and Reality," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 30(1), pages 73-94, 02.
- John Oâ€™Neill, 2009. "Market," Chapters, in: Handbook of Economics and Ethics, chapter 42 Edward Elgar.
- van Zanden, Jan L., 1999. "Wages and the standard of living in Europe, 1500 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 175-197, August.
- Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2001. "Reshaping The Landscape: The Impact And Diffusion Of The Tractor In American Agriculture, 1910 1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 663-698, September.
- Grantham, George W., 1980. "The Persistence of Open-Field Farming in Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(03), pages 515-531, September.
- repec:cup:jechis:v:61:y:2002:i:03:p:663-698_03 is not listed on IDEAS
- Allen, Robert C., 1988. "The growth of labor productivity in early modern English agriculture," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 117-146, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2010-04. 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)The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Shama Rangwala to update the entry or send us the correct address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.