Agriculture and Rural Development

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


It is only within the last decades that the rural population of the world was overtaken by that of the cities. Thus, any economist working on a topic in economic history needs to take agriculture seriously. This chapter discusses the significance of agriculture since its invention during the Neolithic Revolution, and highlights the role of agriculture in the course of economic development up to the present day.

JEL Classification

Q10 Q12 Q13 Q15 N50 

Reading List

  1. Alesina, A., P. Giuliano, and N. Nunn. 2013. On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough. Quarterly Journal of Economics 128 (2): 469–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen, T.B., P.S. Jensen, and C.V. Skovsgaard. 2016. The Heavy Plow and the Agricultural Revolution in Medieval Europe. Journal of Development Economics 118: 133–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birchall, J. 2003. Rediscovering the Cooperative Advantage: Poverty Reduction through Self-help. Geneva: International Labour Organization.Google Scholar
  4. Diamond, J. 1997. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York and London: Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Engerman, S.L., and K.L. Sokoloff. 2000. Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World. Journal of Economic Perspectives 14 (3): 217–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Evenson, R.E., and D. Gollin. 2003. Assessing the Impact of the Green Revolution, 1960 to 2000. Science 300 (5620): 758–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Federico, G. 2005. Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture, 1800–2000. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Galor, O. 2005. From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory. Handbook of Economic Growth 1: 171–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Johnston, B.F., and J.W. Mellor. 1961. The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development. American Economic Review 51 (4): 566–593.Google Scholar
  10. Lampe, M., and P. Sharp. 2018. A Land of Milk and Butter: How Elites Created the Modern Danish Dairy Industry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lewis, A.W. 1954. Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour. Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 28 (2): 139–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nunn, N., and N. Qian. 2011. The Potato’s Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence from a Historical Experiment. Quarterly Journal of Economics 126 (2): 593–650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Olmstead, A.L., and P.W. Rhode. 2008. Creating Abundance: Biological Innovation and American Agricultural Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. O’Rourke, K.H., and J.G. Williamson. 2001. Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Overton, M. 1996. Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy 1500–1850. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Persson, K.G., and P. Sharp. 2015. An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Prebisch, R. 1950. The Economic Development of Latin America and Its Principal Problems. Lake Success, NY: United Nations Department of Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  18. Singer, H.W. 1950. The Distribution of Gains between Investing and Borrowing Countries. American Economic Review 40 (2): 473–485.Google Scholar
  19. Spolaore, E., and R. Wacziarg. 2013. How Deep are the Roots of Economic Development? Journal of Economic Literature 51 (2): 325–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Williamson, J.G. 2011. Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

Personalised recommendations