Rethinking the Industrial Revolution
We define the Agricultural Revolution as an exceptionally rapid increase in total factor productivity (TFP), which moves the agricultural supply curve outwards and raises output and productivity. We show that this definition is implicit in the work of most researchers in this area, but that the output and real rent series that they have compiled cannot pinpoint the timing of the Agricultural Revolution anywhere between 1500 and 1850. Hence they cannot distinguish between the competing historical interpretations of Allen (1999), Clark (2003) and Overton (1996). Instead we need more direct evidence about the supply side and technological change.
Agricultural revolution, development, total factor productivity
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