A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world: Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy

Giovanni Federico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Italian agriculture in the 19th century enjoyed a quite poor reputation among historians, for its innovative record. This article deals with a possible counterexample, the wide diffusion of steam threshing since the 1870s. It was a highly capital-intensive machine, and thus its success seems to contrast with the scarcity of capital, which plagued the Italian agriculture. Indeed, the pattern of diffusion in time and space was influenced by the cost of capital, but the constraint was eased by outsourcing. Steam-threshers were owned by specialised entrepreneurs and rented to farmers and landowners. This successful institutional arrangement casts a lot of doubt on the negative effects of the alleged institutional rigidity on technical change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Agricultural Economic History
Pages75-114
Number of pages40
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

Publication series

NameAdvances in Agricultural Economic History
Volume2
ISSN (Print)1569-4933

Fingerprint

Steam
steam
Italy
Economics
Agriculture
Outsourced Services
agriculture
entrepreneurship
landowners
space and time
farmers
Costs and Cost Analysis
Innovation
1870s
Landowners
Scarcity
Historian
Farmers
Rigidity
Entrepreneurs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

Federico, G. (2003). A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world: Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy. In Advances in Agricultural Economic History (pp. 75-114). (Advances in Agricultural Economic History; Vol. 2).

A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world : Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy. / Federico, Giovanni.

Advances in Agricultural Economic History. 2003. p. 75-114 (Advances in Agricultural Economic History; Vol. 2).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Federico, G 2003, A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world: Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy. in Advances in Agricultural Economic History. Advances in Agricultural Economic History, vol. 2, pp. 75-114.
Federico G. A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world: Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy. In Advances in Agricultural Economic History. 2003. p. 75-114. (Advances in Agricultural Economic History).
Federico, Giovanni. / A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world : Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy. Advances in Agricultural Economic History. 2003. pp. 75-114 (Advances in Agricultural Economic History).
@inbook{fe899b1448fc41abaeb2cd23758d95d9,
title = "A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world: Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy",
abstract = "The Italian agriculture in the 19th century enjoyed a quite poor reputation among historians, for its innovative record. This article deals with a possible counterexample, the wide diffusion of steam threshing since the 1870s. It was a highly capital-intensive machine, and thus its success seems to contrast with the scarcity of capital, which plagued the Italian agriculture. Indeed, the pattern of diffusion in time and space was influenced by the cost of capital, but the constraint was eased by outsourcing. Steam-threshers were owned by specialised entrepreneurs and rented to farmers and landowners. This successful institutional arrangement casts a lot of doubt on the negative effects of the alleged institutional rigidity on technical change.",
author = "Giovanni Federico",
year = "2003",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "0762310014",
series = "Advances in Agricultural Economic History",
pages = "75--114",
booktitle = "Advances in Agricultural Economic History",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - A capital intensive innovation in a capital-scarce world

T2 - Steam-threshing in nineteenth century Italy

AU - Federico, Giovanni

PY - 2003/12/1

Y1 - 2003/12/1

N2 - The Italian agriculture in the 19th century enjoyed a quite poor reputation among historians, for its innovative record. This article deals with a possible counterexample, the wide diffusion of steam threshing since the 1870s. It was a highly capital-intensive machine, and thus its success seems to contrast with the scarcity of capital, which plagued the Italian agriculture. Indeed, the pattern of diffusion in time and space was influenced by the cost of capital, but the constraint was eased by outsourcing. Steam-threshers were owned by specialised entrepreneurs and rented to farmers and landowners. This successful institutional arrangement casts a lot of doubt on the negative effects of the alleged institutional rigidity on technical change.

AB - The Italian agriculture in the 19th century enjoyed a quite poor reputation among historians, for its innovative record. This article deals with a possible counterexample, the wide diffusion of steam threshing since the 1870s. It was a highly capital-intensive machine, and thus its success seems to contrast with the scarcity of capital, which plagued the Italian agriculture. Indeed, the pattern of diffusion in time and space was influenced by the cost of capital, but the constraint was eased by outsourcing. Steam-threshers were owned by specialised entrepreneurs and rented to farmers and landowners. This successful institutional arrangement casts a lot of doubt on the negative effects of the alleged institutional rigidity on technical change.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=36148998706&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=36148998706&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:36148998706

SN - 0762310014

SN - 9780762310012

T3 - Advances in Agricultural Economic History

SP - 75

EP - 114

BT - Advances in Agricultural Economic History

ER -