English Agricultural Output and Labour Productivity, 1250- 1850: some preliminary estimates
van Leeuwen, B
This paper provides annual estimates of English agricultural output and labour productivity during the period 1250-1850, based on manorial records from the medieval period, probate inventories from the early modern period and farm accounts from the modern period. Agricultural labour productivity increased sharply in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death and remained at this higher level for the rest of the medieval period. There was a further increase between the mid-fifteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries, with labour productivity remaining at this higher level until the early eighteenth century. These pre-modern increases in labour productivity were achieved without a substantial increase in output per unit of land. The early eighteenth century saw the start of a continuous upward trend in both agricultural labour productivity and land productivity.