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The economic consequences of the Spanish Reconquest: the long-term effects of Medieval conquest and colonization

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  • Daniel Oto-Peralías

    (University of St Andrews)

  • Diego Romero-Ávila

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

This paper shows that a historical process that ended more than five centuries ago, the Reconquest, is very important to explain Spanish regional economic development down to the present day. An indicator measuring the rate of Reconquest reveals a heavily negative effect on current income differences across the Spanish provinces. A main intervening factor in the impact the Reconquest has had is the concentration of economic and political power in a few hands, excluding large segments of the population from access to economic opportunities when Spain entered the industrialization phase. The timing of the effect is consistent with this argument. A general implication of our analysis is that large frontier expansions may favor a political equilibrium among the colonizing agents that is biased toward the elite, creating the conditions for an inegalitarian society, with negative consequences for long-term economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Oto-Peralías & Diego Romero-Ávila, 2016. "The economic consequences of the Spanish Reconquest: the long-term effects of Medieval conquest and colonization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 409-464, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:21:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s10887-016-9132-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-016-9132-9
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Political power; Structural inequality; Spanish Reconquest; History;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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