IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The origins of economic growth and regional income inequality in South-West Europe 1870-1950


  • Tirado, Daniel A.
  • Sanchís Llopis, M. Teresa
  • Martínez-Galarraga, Julio
  • Díez Minguela, Alfonso


This study focuses on South-West Europe, an area comprising France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, to evaluate inequality in regional income between 1870 and 1950. To do this, information on a decadal basis on regional population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 171 regions (84 French départements, 22 Italian regioni, 18 Portuguese distritos and 49 Spanish provincias) has been collected. Regional inequalities increased between 1870 and 1910 but subsequently tended to flatten out through until 1950. In the first period, regional disparities increased mainly driven by a handful of French and Spanish regions in northern France, such as the Paris basin, Catalonia, the Basque-Country and northern Italy. In the second period, inequality flattened out, driven by the incorporation of new regions on the path of modern economic growth. The study also shows the evolution towards a bimodal, polarized pattern of regional income distribution in 1910-1950 with two convergence clubs. The richest regions were clustering in northern France, the Paris basin and the north of Italy. Meanwhile, most of southern Italy and the vast majority of the Spanish and Portuguese regions already occupied the bottom positions in the income distribution ranking. This point to the emergence of the core-periphery pattern that characterizes much of South-West Europe today.

Suggested Citation

  • Tirado, Daniel A. & Sanchís Llopis, M. Teresa & Martínez-Galarraga, Julio & Díez Minguela, Alfonso, 2017. "The origins of economic growth and regional income inequality in South-West Europe 1870-1950," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 24544, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:24544

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Economic History;

    JEL classification:

    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:24544. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Poveda). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.