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Growth And Structural Change In Spain, 1850-2000

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  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

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Abstract

Long run economic progress in modern Spain is assessed in this paper and its comparative performance placed in historical perspective. Over one and a half centuries, income per person rose 15 times. Three main phases can be established: 1850-1950, 1951-1974 and 1975-2000. The finding of growth continuity between mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century is at odds with the widespread view of a nineteenth century of failure and a successful twentieth century. Spain underperformed in the long run mostly due to its sluggish growth in the hundred years up to 1950. Higher destruction of human capital than of physical capital during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath help explain her weaker post-World War II performance. Catching up took place in the late twentieth century, in which the years 1959-74 stand out. Structural change contributed significantly to growth acceleration while lack of exposition to international competition represents a recurrent element of retardation.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wp06-05.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp06-05

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  1. Barry Eichengreen., 1991. "The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump, Revisited," Economics Working Papers 91-156, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Joan R. Rosés & Blanca Sánchez-Alonso, 2002. "Regional Wage Convergence In Spain 1850-1930," Working Papers in Economic History wh025301, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry & Uzan, Marc, 1992. "The Marshall Plan: Economic Effects and Implications for Eastern Europe and the Former USSR," CEPR Discussion Papers 638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Joan Ramon Rosés, 2003. "Regional industrialisation without national growth: The Catalan industrialization and the growth of Spanish economy (1830-1861)," Economics Working Papers 716, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Hugh Rockoff & Michael D. Bordo, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"," Departmental Working Papers 199528, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Joan R. Rosés & Daniel A. Tirado & Julio Martínez-Galarraga, 2010. "The long-term patterns of regional income inequality in Spain (1860-2000)," Working Papers in Economic History wp10-08, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  2. Vicente Esteve & Cecilio Tamarit, 2011. "Cointegration with multiple structural breaks: an application to the Spanish environmental Kuznets curve, 1857-2007," Working Papers 1114, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  3. Carlos Alvarez Nogal & Leandro Prado de la Escosura, 2007. "Searching for the roots of retardation : Spain in European perspective, 1500-1850," Working Papers in Economic History wp07-06, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  4. Alvaredo, Facundo & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Spain in a Historical and Fiscal Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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