Regulation and the Revolution in United States Farm Productivity / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $60.81
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 6%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $60.81   
  • New (4) from $60.81   
  • Used (1) from $100.23   


Since the 1930s, U.S. agriculture has undergone a revolution in productivity. Sally Clarke explains how government activity, from support for research to price supports and farm credit programs, created a climate favorable to rapid gains in productivity. Regulation stabilized prices, introduced new sources of credit, and caused tool manufacturers and private creditors to revise their business strategies. Competitive farmers took advantage of these new conditions to invest in expensive technology and achieve new gains in productivity.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a fine and provocative study. We can only hope that this book will generate many other works that also seek to challenge prevailing simplistic explanations of change and that build on Clarke's elegant assessment of the emerging issues." Technology and Culture

"This is a model monograph that judiciously employs economic theory and business history to tackle an intriguing question....Clarke's methodology should be extended to other regulated industries, for she has shown that focusing on a broad array of forces (productivity, finance, technology, competition, political action) over time can yield fruitful analyses of ideologically charged subjects." American Historical Review

"Although Clarke is a historian her work provides more than standard historical perspectives, and this book should prove useful and interesting to a wide range of economists....Clarke's book is well researched and thought provoking. Those interested in the economic history of agriculture will find this book interesting and challenging..." Journal of Economic Literature

"This is a theoretically informed and empirically careful and thorough study with important implications for public policy." The Journal of American History

"Clarke brilliantly shows the circumstances and conditions under which business and government could and did work together to further the development of one of the nation's critical industries....America's farmers, politicians, and pundits would reap a huge harvest if they could consult Clarke's insightful book before the nation embarks on a new set of agricultural policies." Business History Review

"By combining economic and business history, Clarke has produced a study with much to say about the economics of twentieth-century agriculture in general and the New Deal period in particular....The book has many strengths. The argument throughout is stated forcefully and with great clarity, and is buttressed by extensive research in the published records and unpublished manuscripts of the USDA, the state experiment stations, and implement companies and farm lenders. It explains in detail the role of credit in midwestern farming, the behavior of agribusiness, and the impact of the New Deal in the Corn Belt—all subjects too often slighted by historians studying agriculture in the 1930s. It also focuses attention on the long-term implications of the farm programs. Finally, its epilogue offers a perceptive appraisal of the causes of the farm credit crisis of the 1980s." David E. Hamilton, Agricultural History

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Part I. Regulation and Productivity: 1. Introduction; 2. Agriculture and the organization of knowledge in the early twentieth century; 3. Accounting for the slow rate of productivity growth; Part II. 'Power Farming' in the Corn Belt, 1920–1940: 4. The tractor factor; 5. Depressed markets and market regulation; 6. 'If You'll Need a Tractor in 1936 You Ought to Order It Now'; Part III. A Legacy for New Deal Regulation: 7. Regulation, competition, and the revolution in farm productivity; 8. Conclusion; Epilogue: The credit crisis of the 1980s; Appendix A. The tractor's threshold, 1929; Appendix B. The tractor's threshold, 1939; Appendix C. Sources of preharvest and harvest labor productivity, 1929–1939.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)