A quantitative analysis of intensification in the ethnographic record

Nature Human Behaviour Vol/Iss. 2021 Springer Nature London Published In Pages: ??
By Sandeford, David S.


The standard model predicts that more intensive systems of food production will be less productive per unit of energy input.


Intensity and labor productivity in foraging, extensive, intensive, and early industrial societies were plotted. Intensity increased linearly over the four categories, labor productivity increased exponentially. These results suggest that more intensive systems will actually be more productive per unit of energy input, which is opposite to the hypothesis.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Box and whisker plotsNot supportedN/AN/AN/A