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Was Colonialism Fiscally Sustainable? An Empirical Examination of the Colonial Finances of Spanish America

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  • Javier L. Arnaut

    () (International Centre for Research and Analysis (ICRA), Warsaw, Poland)

Abstract

This paper examines the long-run fiscal sustainability of the colonial finances of Spanish America. Using econometric tests of intertemporal stability and a macroeconomic budget constraint framework, the analysis revisits how the long-run fiscal dynamics of the colonial treasuries adjusted for inflation changed over time. Findings suggest that in spite of historical breakpoints associated to major financial difficulties during wartime, in general the treasuries achieved sustainable fiscal balances. However, there was a shifting pattern of fiscal sustainability between the treasuries across the colonial period.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier L. Arnaut, 2017. "Was Colonialism Fiscally Sustainable? An Empirical Examination of the Colonial Finances of Spanish America," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1703, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1703
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    File URL: http://www.aehe.es/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/dt-aehe-1703.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Søren Johansen & Rocco Mosconi & Bent Nielsen, 2000. "Cointegration analysis in the presence of structural breaks in the deterministic trend," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 216-249.
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    Keywords

    Fiscal sustainability; Colonialism; Cajas reales; Spanish America; Cointegration.;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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