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Thu 25 March
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Fri 26 March
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Sat 27 March
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Thursday 25 March 2021 16.00 - 17.15
V-8 RUR14 Markets, Demography and Regional Agricultural Development
V
Network: Rural Chair: Tim Soens
Organizers: - Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Cedric Chambru, Paul Maneuvrier-Hervieu : Backward Province? Real Wages and Living Standards in Early Modern Normandy
This paper presents a new estimation of real wages for Early Modern Normandy with regard to a subsistence line. It uses prices information relating to seventeen grains markets and newly collected wages from the account books of parishes’ fabrique and various livres de compte to analyse the evolution of living ... (Show more)
This paper presents a new estimation of real wages for Early Modern Normandy with regard to a subsistence line. It uses prices information relating to seventeen grains markets and newly collected wages from the account books of parishes’ fabrique and various livres de compte to analyse the evolution of living standards in Normandy before the French Revolution. Recent researches suggest that real wage levels, an important factor in Allen’s theory of Industrial Revolution, have been probably underestimated in France outside Paris. We take up the case of Normandy, a wealthy province northwest of Paris that accounted for 10 per cent of the total French population, to bring new evidence to the debate. We construct series of real wages for skilled and unskilled workers. We find that skilled workers in urban areas (Rouen) were paid, in real terms, as much as their peers in Paris. However, real wages of skilled workers in agricultural-centered areas were significantly lower in Paris. These new estimates suggest that wages in Normandy during the eighteenth century were in between wages paid in northern European cities (Antwerp, London) and wages in the Mediterranean area (Florence, Valencia). We also shed light on the socio-economic factors, including wars and industrial or commercial shocks, which explain short-term variations in real wages during the eighteenth century. (Show less)

Christiane Cheneaux-Berthelot : The Seine Department: a Counter or Revealing Example of the French Wheat Economy in the XIXth Century
The Seine Department in the XIXth century still included large agricultural areas in the district of Saint Denis in the north and the district of Sceaux in the south of Paris. But what was called « the radius of Paris » ( a large part of ‘Ile de France’) was ... (Show more)
The Seine Department in the XIXth century still included large agricultural areas in the district of Saint Denis in the north and the district of Sceaux in the south of Paris. But what was called « the radius of Paris » ( a large part of ‘Ile de France’) was the only supplier in wheat of Paris. The Seine Department which was the smallest, the most densely populated and the wealthiest one might appear as an intruder among the large wheat lands of that time. Actually, this department was also totally representative of both the achievements and archaic aspects of French agriculture. Although the region was the core of the business trade of cereals, the delayed progress of transport infrastructures acted as a brake. What was the real impact of the leading role of this ‘prominent’ capital- department on the other agricultural markets of the country ? Did the presence of the goverment headquarters and the influence of powerful merchants in the Seine Department have any negative or positive impact in the general prevailing economic crisis of the time ? Can the local study of this specific department be used as a marker of the global wheat economy in France in the XIXth century ? (Show less)

Pietro Ficarra : Did Malthus Hang out in Venice? A Small-scale Analysis of the Relationship between Population and Resources across Renaissance Venice's Hinterland
The paper addresses the etiology of famines by analyzing the relationship between population and resources across 14th to 16th century Venice’s hinterland.

What sparked my interest is the theory claiming that mid-15th century demographic recovery and maybe long-term climate change put a growing strain on agriculture resulting in an increase in ... (Show more)
The paper addresses the etiology of famines by analyzing the relationship between population and resources across 14th to 16th century Venice’s hinterland.

What sparked my interest is the theory claiming that mid-15th century demographic recovery and maybe long-term climate change put a growing strain on agriculture resulting in an increase in famines eventually peaked in 1580-1620. This theory stresses such socio-historical aspects as public intervention in crop allocation and agrarian innovations like the introduction of maize. Especially when it comes to overall judgments, however, the emphasis seems to lay on the ‘natural’ gap between demographic trend and production capacity, which appears Malthusian in essence. This theory mostly deals with the macro-regional scale of events. Although necessary at the outset, and crucial to comparative analysis, this often translates into a mere juxtaposition of demographic trends and famine frequency. Paradoxically enough, this can impede a calculation of the very ratio of supply needs to production capacity. Such empirical assessment at a small scale is the goal of my paper.

Venice and its hinterland, formed by Padua and Treviso districts, may prove a meaningful case study. High population density and urbanization rates, with Venice alone reaching a population of 150,000 while supposedly lacking a real countryside, can be regarded as going together with high Malthusian risk. Indeed, according to some historians Venice maritime empire, ranging from the gates of Asia to Sicily and Apulia granaries through Po Valley grain markets, was not just economically profitable but also vital in order to prevent a constantly looming supply deficit.

Mine is then an attempt to assess such Malthusian risk by zooming in on Venice and its backyard as if, quite absurdly, the former had to entirely rely on the latter. By leaving out the usual supply areas of Mantua, Ferrara and Ravenna, I deliberately deal with a worst-case scenario.

My analysis revolves around the concept of “living space” needed to feed a city, which was used by Abel, Braudel and Bairoch, as well as in Corritore’s works on Verona and Mantua. I consider both the heuristic value of the concept and the coherence of a range of ratios of “living space” to urban supply needs relating the Middle Age and the early modern period. Data on 16th century Venice, Padua and Treviso’s urban populations allow estimating their “living space” demand, which can eventually be compared with “living space” availability following an examination of the areas of Padua and Treviso districts, as well as of the Dogado.

I then both refine my analysis and cover the period from the XIV to the XVI century. This is a cautious inference based on evidence relating actual supply needs and productivity in 16th century Padua’s district. This entails redefining the “living space” as arable and uncultivated owned land, which could vary, to a certain extent, according to agrarian labour levels. Lastly, in order to estimate “living space” demand and availability I discuss data on agricultural land within Treviso district and the Dogado, while estimating rural populations resorting to Northern Italy population growth and urbanisation rates.

Provisional results show a fairly positive balance between population and resources. Frequent and marked crop yield variability resulting from agriculture high vulnerability to atmospheric hazards was likely to upset the balance possibly triggering Malthusian checks. On the whole, however, although highly pessimistic from the outset Venice’s hinterland scenario does not seem to be a Malthusian one.

References

Wilhelm Abel, Agricultural Fluctuations in Europe from the Thirteenth to the Twentieth Centuries, Routledge, 2013;

Guido Alfani, Population Dynamics, Malthusian Crises and Boserupian Innovation in Pre-Industrial Societies: The Case Study of Northern Italy (ca. 1450-1800) in the Light of Lee’s "Dynamic Synthesis", “Rivista di Politica Economica”, 2 (2011);

Guido Alfani, Population and Environment in Northern Italy during the Sixteenth Century, “Population”, 4 (2007);

Guido Alfani, Famines in late Medieval and Early Modern Italy: A Test for an Advanced Economy (Nov. 2015): “Dondena Working Paper”, 82 (November 2015);

Guido Alfani, Luca Mocarelli, Donatella Strangio, Italian Famines: An overview (ca. 1250-1810), “Dondena Working Paper”, 84 (December 2015);

Guido Alfani - Cormac Ó Gráda (edd.), Famine in European History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017;

F. Braudel, Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme – XVe et XVIIIe siècles, III, Le temps du monde, Paris, Armand Colin, 1979;
Renzo P. Corritore, Verona e Mantova nell’età comunale. Mercatus fori, granai privati e istituzioni annonarie nell’area medio-padana nel Duecento, “MEFRM”, 120/1 (2008);

Renzo P. Corritore, La naturale "abbondanza" del Mantovano: produzione, mercato e consumi granari a Mantova in età moderna, Pavia, Università di Pavia, 2000;

Fabien Faugeron, Nourrir la ville : ravitaillement, marchés et métiers de l’alimentation à Venise dans les derniers siècles du Moyen Âge, Roma, École française de Rome, 2014 (Show less)

Hugo La Poutré : The Effects of Plague on Demography in England, 1348-1377
Between 1348 and 1377 England was struck by four successive plague epidemics, causing the population to decline dramatically. This decline had major implications for agriculture, trade, living standards, and urbanization. It even had its effect on the feudal system. Because of its very nature, this population shrinkage was not a ... (Show more)
Between 1348 and 1377 England was struck by four successive plague epidemics, causing the population to decline dramatically. This decline had major implications for agriculture, trade, living standards, and urbanization. It even had its effect on the feudal system. Because of its very nature, this population shrinkage was not a smooth process, but the result of demographic shocks instead. Until now, a quantitative description of this process is missing, because demographic information on this period is too scarce.
To overcome this problem, models on mortality and fertility are constructed which are used for a computer simulation of population change during this period. Mortality is modelled separately for plague years and non-plague years. Plague mortality is assumed to have been irrespective of age, while mortality in non-plague years is based upon the hazard function for adults as proposed by Thatcher (1999), which was extended to relate to children as well. Fertility is assumed to have only existed within marriage, being typified by a constant birth interval until menopause. Appropriate values for the parameters of these three models are obtained from literature (Russell, 1948; Biraben, 1975; Clark, 1977; Razi, 1980; Ecclestone, 1999; Benedictow, 2004; Signoli et al., 2006; Christakos et al., 2007).
The simulated time series shows population to have shrunk 55 per cent within this period. It also shows that the proportion under age 14 increased from about one third in 1348 to as much as 45 per cent in 1377. Since the population of age 14 and above is already estimated to have been 1.6 million in 1377 (Broadberry et al., 2015), English population size sums up to 2.8 million in 1377, which would bring population size in 1348 to 6.3 million. Such a figure, in accordance with an earlier estimate based upon manure availability (La Poutré, 2017), is as high as England's population size at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 1760's (Wrigley et al., 1997). (Show less)



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