Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/105547
Authors: 
Ormrod, David
Gibson, James M.
Lyne, Owen
Year of Publication: 
2011
Series/Report no.: 
School of Economics Discussion Papers 1117
Abstract: 
Economic historians have traditionally argued that urban growth in England was driven primarily by prior improvements in agricultural supply in the two centuries before the industrial revolution. Recent revisionist scholarship by writers such as Jan Luiten van Zanden and Robert Allen has suggested that 'the city drove the countryside, not the reverse'. This paper assembles new serial data on urban and agricultural rent movements in Kent, Essex and London, from 1580-1914, which enables us to provide a tentative estimate of the strength of the urban variable and the productivity of land across the rural-urban continuum. Our initial findings support the revisionist view, and throw new light on London's position within the wider metropolitan region. Comparative rent movements suggests a greater continuity between town and countryside than has often been assumed, with sharp increases in rental values occurring on the rural-urban fringes of London and the lower Medway valley.
Subjects: 
Europe
pre-1913
agriculture
land-use
tenure
rural-urban relations
spatial competition
urban history
JEL: 
N53
N93
Q15
R12
R14
Y1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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