The Expansion of Trade and the Transformation of Agriculture in Pre-Industrial Europe

Dartmouth Economics Working Paper No. 00-13

58 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2001

See all articles by Meir Kohn

Meir Kohn

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

The expansion of trade in pre-industrial Europe led to a transformation of agriculture. It induced specialization to exploit comparative advantage as well as a restructuring of the process of production, with manorial agriculture giving way to an agriculture of family farms. Technological progress was not itself a driving force, but rather a consequence of this transformation. Merchants and urban investors played a central role in the transformation of agriculture. They purchased land and restructured it into family farms. They pioneered new forms of land tenure. They were active in developing new agricultural land. And it was their efforts in lowering trading costs that made possible the expansion of trade that was the cause of it all.

JEL Classification: F14, N53, N13, N23, N53, O13, O31, O52, Q15,

Suggested Citation

Kohn, Meir G., The Expansion of Trade and the Transformation of Agriculture in Pre-Industrial Europe (January 2001). Dartmouth Economics Working Paper No. 00-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=256598 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.256598

Meir G. Kohn (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Rockefeller Hall 6106
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2648 (Phone)
603-643-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mkohn/

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