The nitrogen hypothesis and the english agricultural revolution: A biological analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A biological model of nitrogen in agriculture is specified for early modern England and used to analyze the growth in grain yields from the middle ages to the industrial revolution. Nitrogen-fixing plants accounted for about half of the rise in yields; the rest came from better cultivation, seeds, and drainage. The model highlights the slow chemical reactions that governed the release of the nitrogen introduced by convertible husbandry and the cultivation of legumes. However efficient were England's institutions, nitrogen's chemistry implied that the English agricultural revolution would be much more gradual than the Green Revolution of the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-210
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Economic History
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The nitrogen hypothesis and the english agricultural revolution: A biological analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this