A Revolution Delayed? Dairy Output and Tenure Institutions in Lower Canada, 1831

I have a new working paper available. This time, I consider the role that Canadian seigneurial tenure might have played in deterring early specialization in dairy production by limiting the ability to finance capital investments needed for that industry. The abstract is below and the paper can be consulted here:

A recent burst of research in the field of economic history emphasizes the role of dairy production in stimulating growth for small open economies like Denmark or Ireland in the 19th century. This paper attempts to link the province of Quebec in Canada, a key producer of cheese intended for export, to the literature in question. In Quebec, the emergence of large-scale dairy production was largely concentrated in areas operating under the British freehold tenure system (as opposed to the French seigneurial tenurensystem (Ouellet, 1988)). Using the censuses of 1831 as my primary data source, I question the role of seigneurial tenure in delaying specialization in dairy production. It is my conclusion that seigneurial tenure depressed production in 1831 relative to freehold areas. It should also be noted that the results hold different data specifications.


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