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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World$
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Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, and Arjan Zuiderhoek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Agriculture, Division of Labour, and the Paths to Economic Growth

Agriculture, Division of Labour, and the Paths to Economic Growth

Chapter:
(p.18) 2 Agriculture, Division of Labour, and the Paths to Economic Growth
Source:
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
Author(s):

Paul Erdkamp

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.003.0002

Although agriculture remained the predominant sector in the Roman economy, economic growth offered a wider range of economic options to individuals, which allowed a much more balanced allocation of resources. The wider range of specialization and employment opportunities allowed an increase in production that did not depend on technological innovation. The growth of the non-agricultural sectors, offering employment seasonally or permanently to members of rural households, allowed a more efficient use of available labour on the land. Consumption opportunities and a raised general standard of living induced households to raise their income, either by increasing subsidiary labour or by choosing a more labour-intensive employment strategy. Even a slight improvement in average living standards caused changes in consumption patterns. The Roman economy had not only expanded in the sense that there were more people than ever before, but all the indicators show that also per capita consumption had risen.

Keywords:   Roman Empire, agriculture, division of labour, economic growth, subsidiary labour, economic specialization, artisans

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