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Agricultural Productivity Across Prussia During the Industrial Revolution: A Thünen Perspective


This article explores the pattern of land rents and agricultural productivity across nineteenth-century Prussia to gain new insights on the causes of the “Little Divergence” between European regions. We argue that agriculture reacted to urban and industrial development rather than shaping it. In the spirit of Johann von Thünen and Ernst Engel, we develop a theoretical model to test how access to urban demand affected agricultural development. We show that the effect of urban demand is causal and that it is in line with recent findings on a limited degree of interregional market integration in nineteenth-century Prussia.

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
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