The relative efficiency of king's, ecclesiastical, and lay estates in Domesday Essex, 1086


  • John McDonald

    1. Flinders University
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    • I would like to thank Eva Aker and Beverley Vickers for their excellent research assistance, colleagues, and seminar participants for their comments and The Australian Research Council and Flinders University for funding the research.


In the Domesday survey of 1086, information on the inputs and output of most production units in the English economy was carefully collected by questionnaire survey and verified in court. In this paper, Essex estate data are used to assess whether similar production functions describe production for the three major classes of production unit in the economy – king's, ecclesiastical, and lay estates. A data envelopment analysis is undertaken to determine whether production on one class of estate was more efficient than on the others. The evidence suggests that production processes and management performance were similar on the three classes of estate.