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Mineral resource abundance and regional growth in Spain, 1860-2000


  • Jordi Domenech

    (University of York, York, UK)


The natural resource curse hypothesis predicts that natural resource windfalls can reduce the long run level of income per capita by crowding out manufacturing, slowing down the accumulation of human capital, damaging institutions and increasing inequality. This paper explores some of the central tenets of the natural resource curse literature by exploiting variation in mineral resources in Spain from 1860 to 1936. The conclusions of the paper are that, contrary to the natural resource curse hypothesis, natural resources had a positive, sizeable effect on industrialisation by 1920 and that they did not reduce real wage growth in the period 1860-1920. Moreover, extractive industries did not slow down the accumulation of human capital. When I look at the very long run by analysing real income per capita convergence from 1930 to 2000, there are no significant costs of early specialisation in extractive industries. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Domenech, 2008. "Mineral resource abundance and regional growth in Spain, 1860-2000," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1122-1135.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:20:y:2008:i:8:p:1122-1135 DOI: 10.1002/jid.1515

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Crafts, Nicholas & Mulatu, Abay, 2006. "How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain Before World War I?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 575-607, September.
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    4. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Tirado, D.A. & Paluzie, E. & Pons, J., 2000. "Economic Integration and Industrial Location: The Case of Spain Before WWI," Papers 2000/2, European Institute - History.
    6. Krugman, Paul, 1987. "The narrow moving band, the Dutch disease, and the competitive consequences of Mrs. Thatcher : Notes on trade in the presence of dynamic scale economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 41-55, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guy Michaels, 2011. "The Long Term Consequences of Resource‐Based Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 31-57, March.
    2. Maurer, Stephan E. & Potlogea, Andrei, 2014. "Fueling the gender gap? Oil and women's labor and marriage market outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60351, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Hunt Allcott & Daniel Keniston, 2015. "Dutch Disease or Agglomeration? The Local Economic Effects of Natural Resource Booms in Modern America," Working Papers 15-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Frederiksen, Anders & Kadenic, Maja Due, 2016. "Mining in Arctic and Non-Arctic Regions: A Socioeconomic Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 9883, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ticci, Elisa & Escobal, Javier, 2015. "Extractive industries and local development in the Peruvian Highlands," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 101-126, February.
    6. Frantál, Bohumil, 2016. "Living on coal: Mined-out identity, community displacement and forming of anti-coal resistance in the Most region, Czech Republic," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 385-393.
    7. Henry Willebald & Marc Badia-Miró & Vicente Pinilla, 2015. "Natural Resources and Economic Development. Some lessons from History," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1504, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    8. Martinez-Galarraga, Julio, 2012. "The determinants of industrial location in Spain, 1856–1929," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 255-275.
    9. Hunt Allcott & Daniel Keniston, 2014. "Dutch Disease or Agglomeration? The Local Economic Effects of Natural Resource Booms in Modern America," NBER Working Papers 20508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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