European Marine Fish Market Dynamics, 1500 to 1800 CE
Citation:Matthews, John Alphonsus, European Marine Fish Market Dynamics, 1500 to 1800 CE, Trinity College Dublin.School of Histories & Humanities, 2021
Al Matthews PhD Thesis 12th October 2021.pdf (PDF) 10.90Mb
European population more than doubled during the early modern period between 1500 and 1790. A priori, the demographic rise depended on increased food supplies, but to what extent was food security dependable, and what were the impacts of natural and human-generated disasters and change? These are fundamental questions in economic and environmental history that have mostly been addressed by looking at the grain market. This thesis provides an in-depth study of the price dynamics of European marine fish markets during the period from 1500 to 1800 CE, focusing on market integration and commodity substitution. Herring and cod were important products during this time and are the focus of this thesis. The results show that these European marine fish markets were well-integrated at the outset of the study period, and at levels that were comparable to staple foods such as beef and wheat. These markets became less integrated during the 17th century, a period marked by elevated conflict levels and heightened environmental activity. Conflicts were accompanied by significant price changes, most notable was the Thirty Years’ War (1618 to 1648). Further changes to the markets occurred as larger volumes of marine fish arrived at European markets, becoming a lower-priced source of nutrition (e.g. protein and calories), thus acting as a commodity substitute and supplementing diets. By the end of the study period, markets had become integrated at levels comparable to those seen at the outset of the study period. Relative values of commodities had changed though, reflecting the altered state of the marine fish markets relative to those of wheat and beef.
European Research Council (ERC)
Author: Matthews, John Alphonsus
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Histories & Humanities. Discipline of History
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available
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