Giovanni Federico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


World population has increased six-fold in the last two centuries, and thus agricultural production must have grown as well. The last fifty years of this increase are covered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) production series. This article aims to push our quantitative knowledge back in time as far as possible. It reviews the scattered evidence on agricultural production in the first half of the 19th century, estimates a yearly series of output for the main countries since 1870, and puts forward some guesstimates on trends in the rest of the world. In the long run, agricultural production has increased more than population. Growth has affected all continents, even if it has been decidedly faster in both the countries of Western Settlement and in Eastern Europe, than in Asia or in Western Europe. It was faster before World War I, a veritable golden age for world agriculture, than in the inter-war years. The composition of production has changed as well, with an increase in the share of livestock products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in Economic History
Number of pages57
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameResearch in Economic History
ISSN (Print)0363-3268

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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