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From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Economic Growth, 1527–1850

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  • Palma, Nuno
  • Reis, Jaime

Abstract

We construct the first time-series for Portugal’s per capita GDP for 1527–1850, drawing on a new database. Starting in the early 1630s there was a highly persistent upward trend which accelerated after 1710 and peaked 40 years later. At that point, per capita income was high by European standards, though behind the most advanced Western European economies. But as the second half of the eighteenth century unfolded, a phase of economic decline was initiated. This continued into the nineteenth century, and by 1850 per capita incomes were not different from what they had been in the early 1530s.

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  • Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime, 2019. "From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Economic Growth, 1527–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 477-506, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:79:y:2019:i:02:p:477-506_00
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    Cited by:

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    2. Broadberry, Stephen N, 2021. "Accounting for the Great Divergence: Recent Findings from Historical National Accounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 15936, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Teives Henriques, Sofia & Sharp, Paul, 2018. "Without coal in the age of steam and dams in the age of electricity: An explanation for the failure of Portugal to industrialize before the Second World War," Lund Papers in Economic History 185, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    4. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2019. "Japan and the great divergence, 730–1874," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-22.
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    6. Rodríguez Caballero, Carlos Vladimir & Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2020. "Growth, war, and pandemics: Europe in the very long-run," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 30574, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    7. Nuno Palma & Jaime Reis & Mengtian Zhang, 2020. "Reconstruction of regional and national population using intermittent census-type data: The case of Portugal, 1527–1864," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(1), pages 11-27, January.
    8. Kerstin Enflo & Anna Missiaia, 2020. "Between Malthus and the industrial take‐off: regional inequality in Sweden, 1571–1850," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(2), pages 431-454, May.
    9. Mario García-Zúñiga, 2020. "Builders’ Working Time in Eighteenth Century Madrid," Working Papers 0195, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    10. Jane Humphries & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Unreal Wages? Real Income and Economic Growth in England, 1260–1850," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(623), pages 2867-2887.
    11. Mario García-Zúñiga & Ernesto López-Losa, 2019. "Building Workers in Madrid (1737-1805). New Wage Series and Working Lives," Working Papers 0152, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    12. Jaime Reis, 2017. "Deviant behaviour? Inequality in Portugal 1565–1770," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(3), pages 297-319, September.
    13. Palma, Nuno & Papadia, Andrea & Pereira, Thales & Weller, Leonardo, 2020. "Slavery and development in nineteenth century Brazil," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 523, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime & Rodrigues, Lisbeth, 2021. "Historical gender discrimination does not explain comparative Western European development: Evidence from Portugal, 1300 - 1900," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 551, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    15. Pedro Lains, 2017. "Portugal’s wine globalization waves, 1750-2015," Working Papers 0113, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    16. Santiago Caballero, Carlos & Palma, Nuno, 2019. "Patterns of Iberian economic growth in the early modern period," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 29185, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    17. Leonor Freire Costa & Paulo Brito, 2018. "Why did people pay taxes? Fiscal innovation in Portugal and state making in times of political struggle (1500-1680)," Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History 2018/59, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa.
    18. Nuno Palma, 2019. "The Real Effects of Monetary Expansions: Evidence from a Large-Scale Historical Natural Experiment," Economics Discussion Paper Series 1904, Economics, The University of Manchester, revised May 2021.
    19. Leonor Freire Costa & Maria Manuela Rocha & Paulo B. Brito, 2018. "The alchemy of gold: interest rates, money stock, and credit in eighteenth‐century Lisbon," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1147-1172, November.
    20. Jaime Reis, 2016. "The Gross Agricultural Output of Portugal: A Quantitative, Unified Perspective, 1500-1850," Working Papers 0098, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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