EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

How Tight are Malthusian Constraints?

T. Ryan Johnson () and Dietrich Vollrath ()
Additional contact information
T. Ryan Johnson: University of Houston

No 2017-192-55, Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Houston

Abstract: We provide a methodology to estimate the elasticity of agricultural output with respect to land - the Malthusian constraint - using variation in rural densities across different locations. We use district-level data from around the globe on rural densities and inherent agricultural productivity to estimate the elasticity for various sub-samples. We find the elasticity is highest in areas that are suitable for temperate crops such as wheat or rye, and loosest in areas suitable for (sub)-tropical crops such as cassava or rice. We show theoretically that a higher elasticity results in greater sensitivity of non-agricultural employment and real income per capita to shocks in population size and productivity, and confirm this with evidence from the post-war mortality transition.

Keywords: land constraints; Malthusian stagnation; agriculture; land elasticity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O13 O44 Q10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
Date: 2017-06-28
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/2017-192-55.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hou:wpaper:2017-192-55

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Houston Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dietrich Vollrath ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-20
Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2017-192-55