Center Discussion Paper, Economic Growth Center 999
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the Ottoman policy-makers adopted a more liberal attitude towards price formation. This was accompanied by the fiscal and administrative centralization of the grain trade. These seemingly contradictory policy changes could, in part, be explained in the context of conjectural changes in grain demand and supply, which rendered pre-emptive privileges and price controls less effective. The policy change, however, was not only a practical response to the strains on the pre-existing supply network but also reflected a new concern with the state of agricultural production along with the emergence of emulation as a development strategy.