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Migration and Inequality in Germany 1870-1913$
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Oliver Grant

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276561.001.0001

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Agricultural Productivity, Labour Surplus, and Migration

Agricultural Productivity, Labour Surplus, and Migration

(p.215) 7 Agricultural Productivity, Labour Surplus, and Migration
Migration and Inequality in Germany 1870-1913


Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the technological transformation of eastern agriculture in the late 19th century. It shows that in 19th-century Germany, the amount of surplus labour was affected by changes in the terms of trade, in particular by the fall in imported grain prices to 1897 and the subsequent recovery, and by changing conditions within agriculture, by institutional developments, and by new agricultural technology. The introduction of new technology meant that a rising urban population could be fed by a rural workforce which was static or falling, thus making it possible for the demographic surplus in rural areas to move out of agriculture into industry. Migration out of agriculture was, therefore, part of a dynamic process, as agriculture adjusted to the new conditions created by industrialization, and was in turn transformed by the effects of industrialization.

Keywords:   Germany, eastern agriculture, technological change, migration

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