Transition and Change in World Agriculture during the Interwar Years

Documento de Trabajo #2109

Título: Transition and Change in World Agriculture during the Interwar Years

Autor/es: Vicente Pinilla and Henry Willebald

Abstract: The years between 1914 and 1950 beheld huge disruptions in the world economy. The interwar period was also extraordinarily turbulent for World agriculture due to World War I, its consequences, the depression of the thirties and the measures taken by the different governments in response to it. It was also a period of transition for agriculture in the developed countries between the years before 1914 and those after World War II, with the onset or deepening of fundamental changes: the shift from extensive to intensive growth; from free markets to state intervention; and, finally, from complementarity to competition in world agricultural trade. Also, the interwar period witnessed a major change in the development model of the world’s periphery and one of its distinctive characteristics was the active participation of the State in the economy. In the agricultural sector, this general characteristic was clearly manifested in at least three ways which began to be expressed in the interwar years and definitively consolidated in the second post-war period: anti-agricultural bias policies, urban consumer protection and marketing boards. Moreover, the interwar problems were one of the causes for the progressive abandonment of export-led growth models based on primary commodities.

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