Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some reflections based on new empirical evidence
AbstractThis paper attempts at contributing to the ongoing debate on the historical roots of the high economic inequality of contemporary Iberian America. Basically empirical, our approach departs from mainstream scholarship. We show new data on wages and heights in several viceroyalties that: 1) suggest relatively medium to high levels of material welfare among the commoners in Bourbon Hispanic America; 2) allow us to build indexes of economic inequality. An international comparison of those indexes casts some doubts on the widely accepted view that Viceroyal America’s economy was exclusively based on extremely unequal or extractive institutions, as it has been popularized by the influential works by Engerman and Sokoloff (1994, 2002, 2005), Acemoglu et al. (2002).
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28738.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Latin American and Iberian Economic History 28.2(2010): pp. 253-277
economic inequality; Iberian America; Viceroyal America’s economy;
Other versions of this item:
- Dobado González, Rafael & García Montero, Héctor, 2010. "Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some Reflections Based on New Empirical Evidence," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 253-277, September.
- B23 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Econometrics; Quantitative and Mathematical Studies
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- L Angeles, 2005.
"Income Inequality and Colonialism,"
Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series
66, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
- Rafael Dobado & Gustavo A. Marrero, 2011. "The role of the Spanish imperial state in the mining‐led growth of Bourbon Mexico's economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 855-884, 08.
- Miriam Bruhn & Francisco Gallego, 2008.
"Good, Bad, and Ugly Colonial Activities: Studying Development Across the Americas,"
Documentos de Trabajo
334, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
- Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008.
"Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions,"
NBER Working Papers
14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Komlos, John, 2005. "On English Pygmies and Giants: the Physical Stature of English Youth in the late-18th and early-19th Centuries," Discussion Papers in Economics 573, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Matthew J. Baker & Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2008. "Did History Breed Inequality? Colonial Factor Endowments and Modern Income Distribution," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/86, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
- Baten, Joerg & Pelger, Ines & Twrdek, Linda, 2009. "The anthropometric history of Argentina, Brazil and Peru during the 19th and early 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 319-333, December.
- John Komlos & Joo Han Kim, . "Estimating Trends in Historical Heights," Articles by John Komlos 25, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
- A'Hearn, Brian & Komlos, John, 2003. "Improvements in Maximum Likelihood Estimators of Truncated Normal Samples with Prior Knowledge of σ," Discussion Papers in Economics 51, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Rafael Dobado González, 2009. "Herencia colonial y desarrollo económico en Iberoamérica," Documentos de trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias EconÃ³micas y Empresariales 09-04, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
- Steckel, Richard H., 1986. "A Peculiar Population: The Nutrition, Health, and Mortality of American Slaves from Childhood to Maturity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 721-741, September.
- Carson, Scott Alan, 2005. "The biological standard of living in 19th century Mexico and in the American West," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 405-419, December.
- Carson, Scott Alan, 2007. "Mexican body mass index values in the late-19th-century American West," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 37-47, March.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002.
"Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francesco Cinnirella, 2008. "On the road to industrialization: nutritional status in Saxony, 1690–1850," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 2(3), pages 229-257, October.
- Komlos, John, 2003.
"An anthropometric history of early-modern France,"
European Review of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 159-189, August.
- Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2007.
"Lost decades? Independence and latin America’s falling behind, 1820-1870,"
Working Papers in Economic History
wp07-18, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
- Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, . "Lost decades? : independence and latin America’s falling behind, 1820-1870," Open Access publications from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid info:hdl:10016/1132, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
- Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 167-174, March.
- John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2.
- Cinnirella, Francesco, 2008. "Optimists or pessimists? A reconsideration of nutritional status in Britain, 1740–1865," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 325-354, December.
- Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, . "Inequality and poverty in Latin America : a long-run exploration," Open Access publications from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid info:hdl:10016/4680, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
- Lopez , J. Humberto & Perry, Guillermo, 2008. "Inequality in Latin America : determinants and consequences," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4504, The World Bank.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
- Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Juif, Dácil-Tania & Baten, Joerg, 2013.
"On the human capital of Inca Indios before and after the Spanish Conquest. Was there a “Pre-Colonial Legacy”?,"
Explorations in Economic History,
Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 227-241.
- Juif, Dácil-Tania & Baten, Joerg, 2012. "On the human capital of Inca Indios before and after the Spanish conquest: Was there a "pre-colonial legacy"?," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 27, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.