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Roads to Market. Transport and Agricultural Change - the case of southern Sweden, 1750-1850

Bergenfeldt, Fredrik LU (2014) In Lund Studies in Economic History 66.
Abstract
In most parts of preindustrial Europe, road transport was a crucial part of rural life as it linked the agricultural producers with urban markets. This study focuses on the development of road transport during the agricultural transformation in order to understand its importance in agricultural change. Scania, in southern Sweden, provides the possibility of examining the basic patterns in the road transport sector in preindustrial Europe in relation to other typical features of an agricultural setting in a preindustrial economy, such as different categories of landownership and different characteristics of natural conditions. As in most parts of preindustrial Europe, outside England and the Netherlands, there were few investments in new... (More)
In most parts of preindustrial Europe, road transport was a crucial part of rural life as it linked the agricultural producers with urban markets. This study focuses on the development of road transport during the agricultural transformation in order to understand its importance in agricultural change. Scania, in southern Sweden, provides the possibility of examining the basic patterns in the road transport sector in preindustrial Europe in relation to other typical features of an agricultural setting in a preindustrial economy, such as different categories of landownership and different characteristics of natural conditions. As in most parts of preindustrial Europe, outside England and the Netherlands, there were few investments in new roads and a lack of institutional change of the road maintenance system in Scania and Sweden during the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. The road networks in most European countries were maintained by local authorities (e.g. towns, parishes, villages) with local financing during this period.

The empirical results provide three important insights for understanding the development of road transport and its role in agricultural change. First, the evidence shows that in a period where there were few investments in new roads and a lack of institutional change to the road maintenance system, producers invested in their transport means to increase their transport productivity. Second, the study shows that the roads were usable, despite the absence of an institutional change to the road maintenance system and investments in the road network during the agricultural transformation. Third, it demonstrates that it was predominantly the local agricultural conditions, rather than changes in market access, that influenced the incentives and possibilities of increasing output during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Hoyle, Richard, University of Reading
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
in
Lund Studies in Economic History
volume
66
pages
195 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
EC3:211
defense date
2014-04-11 10:15
ISSN
1400-4860
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
52b1fce5-a2b2-4106-b01f-e68d407c9504 (old id 4361140)
date added to LUP
2014-03-20 14:21:39
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:47
@phdthesis{52b1fce5-a2b2-4106-b01f-e68d407c9504,
  abstract     = {In most parts of preindustrial Europe, road transport was a crucial part of rural life as it linked the agricultural producers with urban markets. This study focuses on the development of road transport during the agricultural transformation in order to understand its importance in agricultural change. Scania, in southern Sweden, provides the possibility of examining the basic patterns in the road transport sector in preindustrial Europe in relation to other typical features of an agricultural setting in a preindustrial economy, such as different categories of landownership and different characteristics of natural conditions. As in most parts of preindustrial Europe, outside England and the Netherlands, there were few investments in new roads and a lack of institutional change of the road maintenance system in Scania and Sweden during the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. The road networks in most European countries were maintained by local authorities (e.g. towns, parishes, villages) with local financing during this period. <br/><br>
The empirical results provide three important insights for understanding the development of road transport and its role in agricultural change. First, the evidence shows that in a period where there were few investments in new roads and a lack of institutional change to the road maintenance system, producers invested in their transport means to increase their transport productivity. Second, the study shows that the roads were usable, despite the absence of an institutional change to the road maintenance system and investments in the road network during the agricultural transformation. Third, it demonstrates that it was predominantly the local agricultural conditions, rather than changes in market access, that influenced the incentives and possibilities of increasing output during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.},
  author       = {Bergenfeldt, Fredrik},
  issn         = {1400-4860},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {195},
  publisher    = {Lund University (Media-Tryck)},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Economic History},
  title        = {Roads to Market. Transport and Agricultural Change - the case of southern Sweden, 1750-1850},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2014},
}