The Economic Growth in Prussia in the 19th century

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

    This study on Prussia by Gerd Hohorst presents a number of estimations of income on a regional basis since 1816 and examines the meaning of the term ‘leading regions’ (as equivalent for: ‘leading sectors’), as well as the competing explanations for the differentiation of regional incomes in Prussia. In fact, this is a first attempt to verify the hypothesis of an agricultural cycle sui generis by means of an interregional comparison of the Prussian provinces East Prussia and Rhineland (implying regional differences as to the process of industrialisation within Prussia). As a conclusion, it can be said that the income and employment divide, as it could be assessed for the development of the Prussian regions already in 1816, was still increasing in the course of the 19th century. These findings support the Sector-Export-Basis Thesis (Borchardt) as well as the Myrdal Thesis. Furthermore, it seems that the population pressure, which was counteracted by the expansion of the inner regional agriculture, led to an increase in the per capita income at first, whereas an intensification of the protoindustrial capacities only held the per capita income on a constant level. Already in the pre-industrial age, this phenomenon had caused a growing divergence in the regional (per capita) incomes because of the complex interrelation of basic agricultural conditions and population growth. Later, particularly the technical progress and the discovery of new raw materials gave rise to a universal restructuring of the named locations. Hereby, regions with protoindustrial experience and an appropriate potential of population were especially favoured, as these factors constitute the elements of a sales-oriented infrastructure and a greater potential of demand; now agricultural monostructures, which could stand their ground against the demo-economic impulses of change, were disadvantaged although they created agricultural bases for export. Since the development in the former led to an increase in their per capita income due to rising labour productivity, the income differences increased as well. This trend was weakened by the fact that the growing population compelled progresses in productivity also in rural regions. On the other hand, the income gap was widened by the declining demand for protoindustrial products which where squeezed out of the market by industrial competition. Factual classification of corresponding data tables in HISTAT: A.1 Income development trends in the Prussian provinces in marks (1820-1883) A.2 Per capita income in the Prussian provinces (constant weights)in marks (1821-1884) A.2 Per capita income in the Prussian provinces (variable weights) in marks (1820-1883) A.3 Estimated results of the per capita income in the Prussian administrative districts (unrevised, 1816-1883) A.4 Regional development of the per capita income in the Prussian provinces as compared to the whole of Prussia (1816-1913) B. Development of the total price index in the Prussian provinces (1820-1883) C. Estimated results for the agricultural labour force in the Prussian administrative districts, unrevised (1816-1883)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1816 / 1913
Geographic Coverage
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 64
    Number of Variables: 79
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8226 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Hohorst, Gerd: Nationale und regionale Konjunkturen – Probleme der Aggegation. In: Schröder, W.H.; Spree, R. (Hrsg.): Historische Konjunkturforschung. (Hrsg.: Zentrum für Historische Sozialforschung; Historisch-sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungen Bd. II). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta 1981.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 86 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23