Publishing Details

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Authored by:
Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G.
Publication Date: 
March 2015
Journal Title: 
The Journal of Economic History
Journal Volume: 
Journal Issue: 
Page Range: 


U.S corn output increased from 1.8 billion bushels in 1879 to 12.7 billion bushels in 2007. Concurrently, the footprint of production changed substantially. Failure to take proper account of movements means that productivity assessments likely misattribute sources of growth and climate change studies likely overestimate impacts. Our new spatial output indexes show that 16 to 21 percent of the increase in U.S. corn output over the 128 years beginning in 1879 was attributable to spatial movement in production. This long-run perspective provides historical precedent for how much agriculture might adjust to future changes in climate and technology.


Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Philip G. (2015) "Moving Matters: The Effect of Location on Crop Production," The Journal of Economic History, vol. 75, 1.

Additional Attributes

Primary Contact: Jason Beddow
Keywords: Agricultural Productivity, Climate Change, Maize Production, Spatial Analysis, Technology, Technology Adoption, United States