International Year Book of Agricultural Statistics, 1932-33

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  • International Year Book of Agricultural Statistics, 1932-33Review by: R. J. T.Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. 98, No. 1 (1935), pp. 156-157Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2342444 .Accessed: 24/06/2014 20:03

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  • 156 Reviews of Statistical and Economnic Books. [Part I,

    that 2 Tper cent. of families in the sample enquiry were below the defined poverty line;

    that in 34 per cent. of working-class families with dependent children, the head of the family did not earn enough to maintain the family without assistance from supplementary earners.

    that the principal cause of poverty was unemployment; that nearly 5 per cent. of working-class families lived in

    over-crowded conditions, if the parlour were taken as a possible bedroom, and I2 per cent. if the parlour was not so counted.

    N. W.

    3.-Iternational Year Book of Agricultural Statistics, 1932-33. Rome: International Institute of Agriculture, 1933. xxxvi + 794 pp. go liras. The Agricultural Situation in 1932-33. Rome: International Institute of Agriculture, 1934. 580 pp. 25 ligras.

    This Year Book, which is probably not as well known as it deserves to be, contains an immense amount of statistical information as to the production, imports, exports, prices, etc. of agricultural products throughout the world. In the main the particulars in this volume are given in the same form as in previous years, but for the first time a series of tables appears showing th6 distribution of agricultural holdings according to size and mode of operation. The basis on which these statistics are collected in the different countries is not uniform, and comparison between them can only be made with reservations, but they afford a broad indication of the size of holdings and of the extent to which they are farmed by owners or by tenants. Another section of the Year Book brings together official index numbers of prices so far as they are available.

    The volume entitled The Agricultural Situation in 1932-33 is described as an " Economic Commentary on the Statistical Year Book," though it contains much information that has little or no relation to the latter work. The volume could, indeed, be divided into two parts with advantage. As it stands, it consists first of all of a well-considered essay by Dr. Pavlovsky, the Head of the Economic Section of the Institute, on " Planned Economy and its Problems," from which the following passage may be quoted: " It is often erroneously assumed that agricultural planning must necessarily aim at a reduction of output with a view to maintaining or raising prioes; whereas in fact, its essential purpose must be that of achieving economic balance between the various, industries and between supply and demand on a level that will involve an all-round increase of prosperity. Incidentally, to attain a condition of initial equilibrium from which to start, economic planning in agriculture may involve a reduction of output in overgrown branches of pro- duction, but only as a temporary expedienft, to be followed by a policy of co-ordinated expansion."

    This discussion of the economics of planning is supported by a lengthy description of the measures for the relief of agriculture in 1932-33 taken by Governments or by producers' organizations in some 38 countries. To a large extent such measures appear now to represent conscious efforts to introduce forms of planned economy,

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  • 1935] Reviews of Statistical and Economic Books. 157

    whereas earlier measures were mostly rather crude efforts to support particular branches of agriculture which had suffered from the prevailing depression. "It is becoming clear that national planning must be suppleniented by international planning, for measures taken to encourage agriculture in one country may be highly injurious to agriculture in other countries. There is already apparent a tendency for countries to enter into bilateral agreements in order to lessen the damage they inflict on one a,nother by measures taken to encourage national agriculture." The only actual example of international planning is the Wheat Agreement, but this was signed later than the period covered by the present volume, whlich, however, contains a short chapter describing various international conferences affecting agriculture in 1932-33.

    Rather apart from the above, both in scope and intention, is the section entitled " Notes on Market Conditions." This gives a very useful summary of the position and tendency in 1932-33 of the international market as regards agricultural products, including under this head sugar, coffee, tea, cocoa, wine, olive oil, and textiles, as well as cereals and live stock. The movements of prices are expressed by means of index numbers calculated on a gold basis. They bring out in a rather striking way the intensity of the fall in practically all these products.

    As a coniverse to this, the position is also looked at geographically, the economic condition of agriculture in each country being dis- cussed separately. It is observed that although almost everywhere agriculture continued in a state of depression, there were signs of inmprovenient. Such improvement, however, was in the main artificially produced by the intervention of.Governments, and there was little indication, up to the middle of 1933, of any natural tendency to revival, independent, that is, of the efforts of Govern- ments or of the producers themselves. R. J. T.

    4.-Le Proble'ne mondiale du Ble'. Paul de Hevesy. Paris: Librairie Felix Alcan, 1934. 10" X 6a". vii + 293 pp. 3ofr.

    In this volume, M. de Hevesy, who is the representative of Hungary at Madrid and Delegate to the League of Nations, pro- pounds a scheme by which he hopes to solve the " world's wheat problem." Starting from the general proposition that the low prices of agricultural products, by reducing the purchasing power of agriculturists throughout the world, are the root-cause, of the economic crisis, he aims at raising the price of wheat to some agreed figure through the operations of an International Wheat Council. This international body would control the world's wheat imports and exports, allocate quotas to the respective countries, and fix a world price at which importing countries would buy and exporting countries would sell. There are elaborate suggestions whereby individual countries might regulate their internal production in a way wbich, while admitting of a rise in price, would prevent a general increase in output. An intrinsic part of the scheme is the disposal of the existing world surplus by converting it into " reserve stocks "

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    Article Contentsp. 156p. 157

    Issue Table of ContentsJournal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. 98, No. 1 (1935), pp. i-viii+1-237Front Matter [pp. i-viii]University Education: Its Recent History and Function [pp. 1-33]Proceedings of the Meeting [pp. 33-38]The Logic of Inductive Inference [pp. 39-82]MiscellaneaRecent Advances in Mathematical Statistics (1933) [pp. 83-127]Application of the Method of Maximum Likelihood to the Derivation of Efficient Statistics for Fitting Frequency Curves [p. 128]On a Property of Partial Correlation [p. 129]The New Board of Trade Wholesale Prices Index Number [pp. 130-133]Changes in the Volume of the Agricultural Output of Scotland [pp. 134-139]The Royal Statistical Society [pp. 140-151]

    Reviews of Statistical and Economic BooksReview: untitled [pp. 152-154]Review: untitled [pp. 154-156]Review: untitled [pp. 156-157]Review: untitled [pp. 157-158]Review: untitled [pp. 158-160]Review: untitled [pp. 160-161]Review: untitled [pp. 161-163]Review: untitled [pp. 164-166]Review: untitled [pp. 166-169]Review: untitled [pp. 169-172]Review: untitled [pp. 172-173]Review: untitled [pp. 173-175]Review: untitled [pp. 175-177]Review: untitled [pp. 177-178]Review: untitled [pp. 178-180]Review: untitled [pp. 180-181]Review: untitled [pp. 181-182]Review: untitled [pp. 182-183]Review: untitled [pp. 184-185]

    Other New Publications [pp. 185-187]Statistical Notes [pp. 188-204]Current Notes [pp. 205-208]Statistical and Economic Articles in Recent Periodicals [pp. 209-215]List of Additions to the Library [pp. 216-229]Periodical Returns [pp. 230-237]Back Matter