Strategies for Development in Agriculture: The Nineteenth-century European Experience
As the historical evidence on the development of economies accumulates, so do the models of development which once found most favour with historians appear as simplifications of history too excessive even for use in formal argument. The chief cause of discontent is the failure of such models to encompass the vital and complex role of the agricultural sector in the early stages of sustained development. The evidence from those European economies which experienced sustained development in the nineteenth century shows that the most typical path of development was that of a period, usually of three or four decades, of balanced responses and interaction between the primary sector and the rest of the economy, which was then followed by a period of sustained growth and development. Without this period of balanced response, sustained development often proved unobtainable. This pattern could be assimilated into the models of balanced growth only by reducing such models to a level so low as to be meaningless.
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