Trapped by nature: provincial grain yields in Spain in the mid 18th century Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2013

start page

  • 359

end page

  • 386


  • 31

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0212-6109

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-3335


  • This paper estimates original yields for five grains in thirty-three provinces of Spain in the mid-18(th) century. We observe a strong heterogeneity between the provinces with yields being considerably higher in the north of the country than in the south-east. Although average yields in Spain were below those in other countries of north-western Europe, the provinces in the north achieved yields not far behind the most advanced agricultural regions of the world. The heterogeneity of yields across Spain can be explained by the different climatic conditions in each province. Although all the provinces improved their yields in the long term, the differences between the provinces remained stable until the modernisation of Spanish agriculture around the mid-20(th) century.


  • Economics


  • grain yields; agriculture; climate