Where There's Muck, There's Brass: The Market for Manure in the Industrial Revolution

40 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2007

See all articles by Liam Brunt

Liam Brunt

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

Abstract

This article presents the first systematic analysis of off-farm sources of nitrogen, such as urban and industrial waste, used in English agriculture during the industrial revolution, arguing that their use was widespread and intensive by 1700 and that there was only modest growth in their use up to 1840. It explains the pattern of use by supply and demand factors, and develops a new method to estimate the overall impact on wheat yields. It estimates that throughout the period 1700-1840 yields were 20 per cent higher than they would have been if no off-farm manures had been used.

Suggested Citation

Brunt, Liam, Where There's Muck, There's Brass: The Market for Manure in the Industrial Revolution. Economic History Review, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 333-372, May 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=978586 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2006.00362.x

Liam Brunt (Contact Author)

NHH - Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen, Hordaland
Norway

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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