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Popish Habits vs. Nutritional Need: Fasting and Fish Consumption in Iberia in the Early Modern Period

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  • Regina Grafe

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Abstract

Studies of consumption in early modern Europe fall into two groups. Some have looked at the overall supply of nutritional components to the average consumer in an attempt to trace standards of living. Others have examined the changing demand for particular goods by specific consumers to understand the way in which new goods and cultural and taste changes impacted on the economy. Few have tried to look at the interactions between both. By combining the contradictory evidence coming from supply and demand sides, new interpretations of the evidence emerge. Data on the supply of dried salted codfish (bacalao) to the Iberian markets and data available on the consumption of this good by specific groups of consumers are used to explain how this fish became a staple foodstuff in the Iberian diet. The existing literature has invoked both religion and cheapness as explanatory variables. This paper argues that both played an important role but that the overall increase was ultimately driven by the slow but continuous integration of more consumers into the market between 1600 and 1800.

Suggested Citation

  • Regina Grafe, 2004. "Popish Habits vs. Nutritional Need: Fasting and Fish Consumption in Iberia in the Early Modern Period," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _055, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_055
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    Cited by:

    1. Regina Grafe & Camilla Brautaset, 2006. "The Quiet Transport Revolution: Returns to Scale, Scope and Network Density in Norway`s Nineteenth-Century Sailing Fleet," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Guillaume Daudin, 2008. "Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late Eighteenth-Century France," Economics Series Working Papers 69, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. J.Humphries & T. Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the standard of living in early nineteenth-century England and Wales," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _066, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Educational Disparity in East and West Pakistan, 1947–71: Was East Pakistan Discriminated Against?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _063, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    5. Regina Grafe, 2004. "Popish habits vs. nutritional need: Fasting and fish consumption in Iberia in the early modern period," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Natalia Mora-Sitja, 2006. "Exploring Changes in Earnings Inequality during Industrialization: Barcelona, 1856-1905," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W61, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:oxf:wpaper:69.2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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