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Sebastian Wollmer (University of Gottingen)

Publié le 15 novembre 2021 Mis à jour le 17 novembre 2021
Le 16 novembre 2021 De 12:30 à 14:00
Salle 214. Pass sanitaire obligatoire.

Séminaire recherche. The economic effects of the English Parliamentary enclosures.

The economic effects of the English Parliamentary enclosures.

Article co-écrit avec Leander Heldring et James A. Robinson.


We use a dataset of the entire population of English Parliamentary enclosure acts between 1750and 1830 to provide the first causal evidence of their impact. Exploiting a feature of the Parliamentary process that produced such legislation as a source of exogenous variation, we show that enclosures were associated with significantly higher crop yields, a lower proportion of the population in agriculture, but also significantly lower population density and higher land inequality. Our results are in line with a literature going back to Karl Marx on the effects of enclosure on structural change and inequality. They do not support the argument that informal systems of governance or “private orderings”, even in small, cohesive and stable communities, were able to efficiently allocate commonly used and governed resources. Parliamentary intervention was necessary.

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