Advanced

The agricultural revolution and the conditions of the rural poor, southern Sweden 1750–1860

Dribe, Martin LU ; Olsson, Mats LU and Svensson, Patrick LU (2016) In Economic History Review
Abstract
The social consequences of agrarian change have been widely debated. The traditional view of the lower classes becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the loss of access to resources has been met with the revisionist view that this change was counteracted by an increase in the volume and regularity of employment due to investments and new farming practices. This article address this issue by studying the agricultural revolution in southern Sweden using aggregate data at the parish level. New micro-level data on actual harvest outcomes, supplemented by price data, make it possible to differentiate between the development of the local economy and exogenous price shocks. Our results indicate a clear mortality response to harvest fluctuations... (More)
The social consequences of agrarian change have been widely debated. The traditional view of the lower classes becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the loss of access to resources has been met with the revisionist view that this change was counteracted by an increase in the volume and regularity of employment due to investments and new farming practices. This article address this issue by studying the agricultural revolution in southern Sweden using aggregate data at the parish level. New micro-level data on actual harvest outcomes, supplemented by price data, make it possible to differentiate between the development of the local economy and exogenous price shocks. Our results indicate a clear mortality response to harvest fluctuations in general and to harvest failures in particular. The response differed greatly between farming regions, being strongest in the areas most dependent on grain production. The response also diminished during the agricultural revolution, indicating the increasing efficiency of the local economy. This indicates employment effects in line with the revisionist view. At the same time, vulnerability to fluctuations in prices of basic foodstuffs remained high until the second half of the nineteenth century and was also quite similar across farming regions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Economic History Review
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84990848489
ISSN
1468-0289
DOI
10.1111/ehr.12378
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0ff7d960-bc9f-45e4-a78b-adb600956d70 (old id 8841312)
date added to LUP
2016-03-11 09:16:14
date last changed
2017-02-26 04:28:09
@article{0ff7d960-bc9f-45e4-a78b-adb600956d70,
  abstract     = {The social consequences of agrarian change have been widely debated. The traditional view of the lower classes becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the loss of access to resources has been met with the revisionist view that this change was counteracted by an increase in the volume and regularity of employment due to investments and new farming practices. This article address this issue by studying the agricultural revolution in southern Sweden using aggregate data at the parish level. New micro-level data on actual harvest outcomes, supplemented by price data, make it possible to differentiate between the development of the local economy and exogenous price shocks. Our results indicate a clear mortality response to harvest fluctuations in general and to harvest failures in particular. The response differed greatly between farming regions, being strongest in the areas most dependent on grain production. The response also diminished during the agricultural revolution, indicating the increasing efficiency of the local economy. This indicates employment effects in line with the revisionist view. At the same time, vulnerability to fluctuations in prices of basic foodstuffs remained high until the second half of the nineteenth century and was also quite similar across farming regions.},
  author       = {Dribe, Martin and Olsson, Mats and Svensson, Patrick},
  issn         = {1468-0289},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Economic History Review},
  title        = {The agricultural revolution and the conditions of the rural poor, southern Sweden 1750–1860},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12378},
  year         = {2016},
}