I read in somewhere that the per capita annual production of cast iron in the roman empire was on par with per capita annual consumption of cast iron in 15th century England. Assume this is accurate, which economy was likely to have a higher per capita production of cast iron?

Were the ancient economies more likely to have shortage problem or overproduction. If there could indeed be a significant gap between production and consumption, please provide a few examples from historical data, if it is possible.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hi! What exactly do you mean by 'shortage'? In economics, if demand is higher than supply, that is often considered a problem of the price being set too low. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Mar 6 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ "Were the ancient economies more likely to have shortage problem or overproduction" It is quite possibly that an economy produces more than it consumes in one industry (perhaps exports the rest) and produces less than it consumes in another (perhaps imports the rest). $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Mar 6 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ Also, have you considered that famines occured regularly? Still not sure about how you define "economies" having "shortage problem", but it seems likely that will meet your definition. Anyhow, please clarify what exactly it is that you are asking (and stick to asking one well defined question). $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Mar 6 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ this reads exactly as a homework/exam question, what did you try to do to solve the problem yourself? $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Mar 6 at 10:31


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