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The Sephardim Diaspora: A Model of Forced Migration and Confiscation

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  • Joao Ricardo Faria

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Abstract

This paper studies the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. This forced migration process is addressed with a model that blends demographic, religious and macroeconomic features. The optimal migration path is derived. It is shown that a large portion of the Sephardim community fled the country and, given the confiscation process they suffered, their final income was smaller than the income just before the expulsion. The model provides several predictions: (1) the rate of growth of the country falls with the migration; (ii) an increase in the inflation rate decreases the final income of the Jews; (iii) the government has an incentive to denerate inflation since this minimises the negative impact of the diaspora on the rate of growth; and (iv) the decision to reduce the activities of the Spanish Inquisition diminished the migration.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/9811.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 9811.

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Date of creation: May 1998
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:9811

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/

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Related research

Keywords: Migration; Confiscation; Discrimination;

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References

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  1. Snower, Dennis J, 1982. "Macroeconomic Policy and the Optimal Destruction of Vampires," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 647-55, June.
  2. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hercowitz, Zvi & Pines, David, 1997. "Migration between home country and diaspora: An economic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 45-59, July.
  4. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Veitch, John M., 1986. "Repudiations and Confiscations by the Medieval State," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 31-36, March.
  6. Barzel, Yoram, 1992. "Confiscation by the Ruler: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Lending in the Middle Ages," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-13, April.
  7. Faria, Joao Ricardo & Mollick, AndreVarella, 1996. "Urbanization, economic growth, and welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 109-115, July.
  8. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  9. Montgomery, James D, 1996. "Contemplations on the Economic Approach to Religious Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 443-47, May.
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