The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence from an Historical Experiment

@article{Nunn2009ThePC,
  title={The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence from an Historical Experiment},
  author={Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian},
  journal={CEPR Discussion Paper Series},
  year={2009}
}
We exploit regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Our results show that the introduction of the potato was responsible for a significant portion of the increase in population and urbanization observed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to our most conservative estimates, the… 

Potatoes, Milk, and the Old World Population Boom

Adopting a New Technology: Potatoes and Population Growth in the Periphery

  • Thor Berger
  • Economics, History
    The Economic History Review
  • 2018
Sweden's population doubled in size between 1750 and 1850 despite a century of stagnating per capita incomes and real wages, which has led many historians to attribute the population explosion to the

The Heavy Plough and the Agricultural Revolution in Medieval Europe

This research tests the long-standing hypothesis put forth by Lynn White, Jr. (1962) that the adoption of the heavy plough in Northern Europe led to increased population density and urbanization.

Impact of the Potato on Society

  • H. Jong
  • Political Science
    American Journal of Potato Research
  • 2016
The first impact of the potato on society was the intimate relationship between the domestication of the potato and the evolution of Andean civilization which affected Andean culture and religion. In

The historical, social, and economic importance of the potato crop

The potato has a fascinating history, from its origin and domestication in the Andean Region, where it was essential for feeding a growing population, for example, the Inca Empire, to its

Mosquitoes and Potatoes: How Global Health Crises Impede Development

The historical diffusion of potatoes to the Old World is an excellent example of how technological innovation contributes to the socioeconomic growth (Nunn and Qian, 2011). On the other hand poor

The Malthusian Quagmire? Maize and Population Growth in China, 1550-1910

We examine the effect of the introduction of maize—a New World crop—on population density and economic development in China, an important part of the Old World, in the 1550–1910 period. By exploiting

Of maize and men: the effect of a New World crop on population and economic growth in China

We examine the question of whether China was trapped within a Malthusian regime at a time when Western Europe had all but emerged from it. By applying a difference-in-differences analysis to maize

Agricultural Suitability and Colonization Choices

Historical evidence indicates that the quest for new territories by the Western European colonizers was driven by a strong incentive to produce sugar, tea, timber, and other commodities. Once

The Role of Land in Temperate and Tropical Agriculture

We document differences in the elasticity of agricultural output with respect to land in temperate and tropical regions. We estimate this elasticity from the relationship of rural labour/land ratios
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 207 REFERENCES

The history and social influence of the potato

K. SALAMAN, after 40 years of research on genetD ical, morphological, pathological, and related studies of the potato, and 9 years in the preparation of the material, presents the most comprehensive

Origin and history of the potato

  • C. Brown
  • Political Science
    American Potato Journal
  • 2008
It truly stretches the imagination to realize that among the new discoveries for the Spaniards was the potato, an item which is so commonplace in the World's diet today.

Food Supply and Population Growth in Southwest China, 1250–1850

  • J. Lee
  • Economics, History
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 1982
Between 1250 and 1850 the population of Southwest China increased from 3 to 20 million people. In this essay, the author delineates two periods of population growth—a small one from 1250 to 1600 and

`In the Shadow of Rice: Roots and Tubers in Indonesian History, 1500-1950¿

Roots and tubers are not welle documented in Indonesian historiography. Colonial civil servants regarded root crops as famine food, and they were rarely included in indigenous chronicles. This

The potato in Spain during the late 16th century

A study is presented of the Hospital de la Sangre account books in Seville at the Archivo Hispalense for the period 1546 to 1601, to verify purchases of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) during that

The potato in Mexico: Geography and primitive culture

Detailed field studies of the indigenously cultivated Mexican potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L., Group Andigena) have been long neglected. Although the Mexican potatoes comprise a highly variable group,

The early history of the potato in Europe

Even earlier records from the Canary Isles are reported, where ‘patatas’ and ‘batata’ are clearly distinguished, and the South American word ‘papa’ for Solanum tuberosum is also used sometimes, which seems to point towards the introduction of potatoes from South America into the Canary Islands, and not, as previously assumed, directly into continental Spain.

How the potato changed the world's history.

Only twice can one say that potatoes made a critical difference for world history: initially in the altiplano, where potatoes provided the principal energy source for the Inca Empire, its predecessors and its Spanish successor; and then subsequently in northern Europe, where potato, by feeding rapidly growing populations, permitted a handful of European nations to assert dominion over most of the world between 1750 and 1950.

POTATO INTRODUCTIONS AND BREEDING UP TO THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY

The pedigrees of modern potato varieties show that, although several 20th century introductions may occur in their ancestries, generally 80% or more of their genes are derived from varieties grown early this century, and that modern varieties are somewhat inbred due to relationships between their parents and ancestors.

The Agricultural Revolution in Northern Europe, 1750–1880: Nitrogen, Legumes, and Crop Productivity

"i itrogen is in a class alone, for in most agriculture its supply governs the IN yield of crops that have enough water."' The implications of this truth for the history of agriculture have barely
...