Crises and Economic Cycles in Agriculture. A history of agricultur and nutrition of central Europe since the High Middle Ages

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Abel, Wilhelm
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The author`s analysis explains to what extent the Central European agriculture and food industry has managed to satisfy the demand of the population in the centuries since the Middle Ages. For this purpose, the author collects and analyses prices, wages, rents, agricultural products, and population movements, as well as the costs of living of broad levels of the population. The price data at hand (prices of wheat and rye in Germany, Europe and America) provide a substantial basis for his analysis. On the basis of the long-term fluctuation of corn prices in England, France, Northern Italy, Germany and Austria, three waves of development can be identified: 1. An upswing in the 13th and partly also at the beginning of the 14th century is followed by a downswing in the late Middle Ages. 2. Another upswing in the 16th century was interrupted in the 17th century; 3. a third upswing in the 18th century dissolved in the 19th century into shorter and partly opposed movements that merge again only in the late 19th and 20th century. What do these waves mean? There are two approaches which could explain these developments: 1. Such price fluctuations are the consequence of a fluctuating supply of money in the Central European economy. 2. The rise in prices is caused by the growing demand of a rapidly growing population. On the one hand, the author verifies the ´laws of development´ by MALTHUS and RICARDO on the basis of the historical facts. On the other hand, the historical series of developments are interpreted by way of an appropriate scheme of terms and relations regarding their meaning. Topics: Tables in the ZA-Online-Database HISTAT: - prices of rye in Germany (1341-1940) - prices of wheat and rye in Europe and America (1991-1830) - prices of wheat and rye in Central Europe (1201-1960)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1201 / 1951
Geographic Coverage
  • England
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Northern Italy
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
  • Germany (DE)
  • Austria (1806-1918) (AAAT)
  • Austria (AT)
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 123
    Number of Variables: 38
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8082 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 92 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23