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Inequality, poverty and the Kuznets curve in Spain, 1850–2000




Economic rather than political forces appear to dominate inequality trends in Spain. Inequality evolution fits a Kuznets curve. Wars increased inequality but had non-permanent effects, while progressive taxation had no impact until 1980, at odds with Atkinson, Piketty, Saez and associates' findings. A substantial fall in absolute poverty resulted from growth but also from inequality reduction in the interwar period and the late 1950s. Rising inequality and extreme poverty are not found at the roots of the Spanish Civil War. Between the mid 1950s and 1974, inequality contraction and absolute poverty eradication represented a major departure from Latin America's performance while matching the OECD's.

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  • Prados De La Escosura, Leandro, 2008. "Inequality, poverty and the Kuznets curve in Spain, 1850–2000," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 287-324, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:12:y:2008:i:03:p:287-324_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Romeu, Andrés & Collado, M. Dolores & Ortuño Ortin, Ignacio, 2013. "Long-run intergenerational social mobility and the distribution of surnames," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 36768, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    2. Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Martínez Carrion, José Miguel, 2012. "The comovement between height and some economic development indicators in Spain," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 26464, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    3. Jesús Gonzalo & Jean-Yves Pitarakis, 2013. "Estimation and inference in threshold type regime switching models," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 8, pages 189-205 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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.
    5. Madsen, Jakob B. & Islam, Md. Rabiul & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2018. "Inequality, financial development and economic growth in the OECD, 1870–2011," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 605-624.
    6. José Cañabate-Cabezuelos & José M. Martínez-Carrión, 2016. "Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1604, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
    7. Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, 2016. "Sticky Income Inequality In The Spanish Transition (1973-1990)," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 39-80, March.
    8. Alfani, Guido & Ryckbosch, Wouter, 2016. "Growing apart in early modern Europe? A comparison of inequality trends in Italy and the Low Countries, 1500–1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 143-153.
    9. María-Dolores, Ramón & Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel, 2011. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain, 1850-1958," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 30-44, January.
    10. Guido Alfani & Francesco Ammannati, 2014. "Economic inequality and poverty in the very long run: The case of the Florentine State," Working Papers 070, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    11. Santiago-Caballero, Carlos, 2012. "Provincial grain yields in Spain, 1750-2009," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    12. Foldvari, Peter & van Leeuwen, Bas & Marks, Daan & Gall, Jozsef, 2013. "Indonesian regional welfare development, 1900–1990: New anthropometric evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 78-89.
    13. Rojo Cagigal, Juan Carlos & Houpt, Stefan, 2011. "Hunger in hell’s kitchen : family living conditions during Spanish industrialization : the Bilbao estuary, 1914-1935," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp11-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    14. 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.
    15. Francisco J. Beltran Tapia & Julio Martinez-Galarrage, 2015. "Inequality and poverty in a developing economy: Evidence from regional data (Spain, 1860-1930)," Working Papers 0078, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    16. Guido Alfani & Wouter Ryckbosch, 2015. "Was there a ‘Little Convergence’ in inequality? Italy and the Low Countries compared, ca. 1500-1800," Working Papers 557, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    17. Esteve, Vicente & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2012. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for Spain? Fresh evidence from old data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2696-2703.
    18. Alfani, Guido, 2015. "Economic Inequality in Northwestern Italy: A Long-Term View (Fourteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(04), pages 1058-1096, December.
    19. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Joerg Baten & Peter Foldvari & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "The Changing Shape of Global Inequality - exploring a new dataset," Working Papers 0001, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    20. Marc Badia-Miro & Enric Tello, 2013. "An agency-oriented model to explain vine-growing specialization in the province of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) in the mid-nineteenth century," Working Papers in Economics 290, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    21. Ramon Ramon-Muñoz & Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz, 2015. "Height and Industrialisation in a City in Catalonia during the Nineteenth Century," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/334, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    22. Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Global inequality and the global inequality extraction ratio: the story of the past two centuries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5044, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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