The efficiency and distributional consequences of eighteenth century enclosures ( Britain).

Robert (Bob) Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Examines the efficiency and distributional consequences of 18th century enclosure using data collected by Arthur Young in 1768-70. Only half of the surplus generated by open field farms accrued to the landlord as rent, hence introducing free competition into the farm lease market would approximately double rents and lower farmers' incomes. Enclosure did not raise efficiency: when differences in the characteristics (including common rights) of the land were incorporated it was possible to accept the statistical hypothesis that open and enclosed farms were equally efficient. The overall conclusion is that the major economic consequence of the enclosure of open field arable land in the 18th century was to redistribute the existing agricultural income, not to create additional income by increasing efficiency. This conclusion contradicts the conventional wisdom but is backed up by recent agricultural historians.-V.S.Mead

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)937-953
    Number of pages17
    JournalEconomic Journal
    Volume92
    Issue number368
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

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    Farm
    Income
    18th century
    Rent
    Lease
    Farmers
    Economic consequences
    Wisdom
    Surplus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    The efficiency and distributional consequences of eighteenth century enclosures ( Britain). / Allen, Robert (Bob).

    In: Economic Journal, Vol. 92, No. 368, 01.01.1982, p. 937-953.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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