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State intervention in wine markets and collective action in France and Spain during the early twentieth century

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  • Jordi Planas

    () (Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

In the early twentieth century winegrowersin Europe faced a crisis of overproduction, with steeply falling prices and sharp increases in wages and production costs. Since the markets showed no signs of correcting themselves, the winegrowers called for state intervention. In the major wine producing countries such as France and Spain, large winegrowers’ associations were created which lobbied their governments to regulate domestic wine markets through tariffs, quality controls, the creation of regional appellations and bodies investigating fraud in winemaking, and also promoted other measures to increase the consumption of unadulterated wine. However, while winegrowers in France were highly successful in obtaining government support to protect their market interests, in Spain the legislation introduced was much more eclectic; it aimed to satisfy on the one hand the winegrowers and on the other the alcohol producers, wine merchants and exporters, even though the interests of these groups often clashed head on. This paper aims to explain the differences in state intervention and wine market regulation in these two major producer countries in the early twentieth century, by analysing the particular features of their markets and productive systems in the aftermath of the phylloxera plague, as well as the winegrowers’ collective action and the political framework in each country.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Planas, 2015. "State intervention in wine markets and collective action in France and Spain during the early twentieth century," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1503, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1503
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meloni, Giulia & Swinnen, Johan, 2014. "The Rise and Fall of the World's Largest Wine Exporter—And Its Institutional Legacy," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 3-33, May.
    2. Carmona, Juan & Simpson, James, 1999. "The “Rabassa Morta” in Catalan Viticulture: The Rise and Decline of a Long-Term Sharecropping Contract, 1670s–1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 290-315, June.
    3. Pinilla, Vicente & Ayuda, Maria-Isabel, 2002. "The political economy of the wine trade: Spanish exports and the international market, 1890 1935," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 51-85, April.
    4. Meloni, Giulia & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "The Political Economy of European Wine Regulations," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 244-284, December.
    5. Pan-Montojo, Juan & Raposo, Núria Puig, 1995. "Los grupos de interés y la regulación pública del mercado de alcoholes en España (1887–1936)," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 251-280, September.
    6. James Simpson, 2011. "Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry, 1840-1914," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9479.
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    Keywords

    Palabras clave: state intervention; market regulation; winegrowers; collective action; France; Spain.;

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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