Weather Shocks and English Wheat Yields, 1690-1871

19 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2015

See all articles by Liam Brunt

Liam Brunt

NHH - Norwegian School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2015


We estimate a time series model of weather shocks on English wheat yields for the early nineteenth century and use it to predict weather effects on yield levels from 1697 to 1871. This reveals that yields in the 1690s were depressed by unusually poor weather; and those in the late 1850s were inflated by unusually good weather. This has led researchers to overestimate the underlying growth of yields over the period by perhaps 50 per cent. Correcting for this effect would largely reconcile the conflicting primal and dual estimates of productivity growth over the period.

Keywords: agriculture, productivity, weather

JEL Classification: N5, O3, Q1, Q2

Suggested Citation

Brunt, Liam, Weather Shocks and English Wheat Yields, 1690-1871 (April 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10530, Available at SSRN:

Liam Brunt (Contact Author)

NHH - Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen, Hordaland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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