PW1 2018

Dr. Ir. Peter Kooman

When I am in a more urban social environment and I tell people that I spend my working time on studying potatoes, I often get comments like “is that a job? or potatoes is that important?” So I was positively surprised last December by a newspaper article from an Dutch economist, Peter de Waard, stating that the French pharmacist Parmentier should have gotten the “Nobel peace price” for introduction and promotion of the potato in France. He drew this conclusion from two articles written by American economists about the role of potato in the urbanization process in the centuries before 1900 in Western Europe and the role of agricultural productivity and potatoes on conflicts in the same period. (Iyigun, Nunn, & Qian, 2017; Nunn & Qian, 2011)

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