Enclosures and productivity in Eastern Sweden – Evidence from the land market 1840-1869

Gustafscenen Session 2: Labour, living standards and inequality organized by Erik Bengtsson, Kathryn Gary, Tobias Karlsson, Malin Nilsson and Jakob Molinder


Viktor Persarvet, Marja Erikson


Did enclosures lead to increased agricultural productivity? Enclosures has been held to be an important catalyst for the agricultural development in Europe during the 18th and 19th century, although the results from previous research is mixed. In this article, we provide new evidence using a database of all market transactions of agricultural properties in a Swedish county during the mid-19th century. We show that buyers of agricultural properties did not value enclosed land higher than open field land. Property rights were sufficiently secure to enable land use intensification regardless.


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