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Agriculture and Economic Development on the European Frontier: Portugal, 1000-2000

Pedro Lains ()

IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola

Abstract: This chapter follows the steps of renovation of European economic history towards a more unified interpretation of sources of growth and stagnation. To better understand the diversity of patterns of growth, we need to look beyond the study of the industrialization of the core economies, and explore the centuries before it occurred. Portuguese agriculture was hardly ever at the European productivity and technological forefront and the distance from it varied substantially across the second Millennium. Yet if we look at the periods of the Christian Reconquista, the recovery from the Black Death, the response to the globalization of the Renaissance, to the eighteenth century economic enlightenment, or to nineteenth century industrialization, we may conclude that agriculture in this country of the European periphery was often adaptive and dynamic. The fact that economic backwardness was not overcome by the end of the period is no longer the most relevant aspect of that story. Long-term agricultural transformation in Portugal replicate to a large extent what occurred elsewhere in Western Europe, as far as our knowledge of both developments through such a long time span can tell, both in terms of timing and intensity, albeit at a distance. European agrarian transformation was not too different on the southwestern frontier.

Keywords: Agriculture; Institutions; Long-term; growth; Europe; Portugal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N53 N54 O13 O43 Q10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-his
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