Total factor productivity growth in English agriculture: 1690-1914

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  • University of Kiel


The rate of TFP growth in agriculture is sometimes thought of as facilitating the wider industrial revolution. We use data on rents, prices, wages, the cost of inventories and the user-cost of man-made capital to analyse productivity change in agriculture in England 1690-1914. Adopting an approach based on the profit function we find that the rate of profit augmentation was 0.4 percent whilst the output and input-based rates of TFP growth were 0.1 and 0.2 percent respectively. We cannot reject the null hypothesis that the profit function for agriculture is stable. At least in economic terms agriculture exhibited steady progress rather than revolutionary change.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666–686
Number of pages21
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Issue number3
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019