The rise and fall of Spain (1270-1850)
AbstractTwo distinctive regimes are distinguished in Spain over half-a-millennium. A first one (1270s-1590s) corresponds to a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns. Wages and food consumption were relatively high. Sustained per capita growth occurred from the Reconquest’s end (1264) to the Black Death (1340s) and resumed from the 1390s only broken by late- 15th century turmoil. A second regime (1600s-1810s) corresponds to a more agricultural and densely populated low-wage economy which grew along a lower path. Contrary to preindustrial Western Europe, Spain achieved her highest living standards in the 1340s, not by mid-15th century. Although its population toll was lower, the Plague had a more damaging impact on Spain and, far from releasing non-existent demographic pressure, destroyed the equilibrium between scarce population and abundant resources. Pre-1350 per capita income was reached by the late 16th century but only overcome after 1820.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wp11-02.
Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Preindustrial Spain; Frontier economy; Reconquest; Black Death; Rise; Decline; Western Europe;
Other versions of this item:
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-05-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2011-05-07 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2011-05-07 (Macroeconomics)
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