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Labour markets and rural unrest in Spanish agriculture, 1860-1936

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  • Simpson, James

Abstract

This paper considers how changes in cultivation influenced the demand for farm labour in the half century prior to the Civil War. In the first section I assess the relative importance of wage labour and the evidence of a farm ladder in Spanish agriculture. The second shows to what extent agricultural labour markets were integrated within a national labour market. I argue that because of sharp seasonal fluctuations in demand, we would expect large amounts of labour flow in both directions between the rural and urban labour markets. Finally, I argue that although the demand for labour in Andaluda grew faster than aggregate supply, the major peaks in demand at harvest time encouraged landowners to use migrant gang labour or mechanise. Employment for the local labour force therefore is likely to have declined, and this was a major cause of the increase in labour militancy during the first third of the twentieth century.

Suggested Citation

  • Simpson, James, 2000. "Labour markets and rural unrest in Spanish agriculture, 1860-1936," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 8561, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:8561
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. G. W. Grantham, 1993. "Divisions of labour: agricultural productivity and occupational specialization in pre-industrial France," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(3), pages 478-502, August.
    2. Francesco L. Galassi & Jon S. Cohen, 1994. "The economics of tenancy in early twentieth-century southern Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(3), pages 585-600, August.
    3. Simpson, James, 1989. "La produccion agraria y el consumo español en el siglo XIX," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 355-388, September.
    4. Blanca Sánchez-Alonso, 2000. "European emigration in the late nineteenth century: the paradoxical case of Spain," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 53(2), pages 309-330, May.
    5. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1987. "Did English Factor Markets Fail during the Industrial Revolution?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 641-678, December.
    6. Sicsic, Pierre, 1992. "City-Farm Wage Gaps in Late Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 675-695, September.
    7. Simpson, James, 1987. "La eleccion de tecnica en el cultivo triguero y el atraso de la agricultura española a finales del siglo XIX," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 271-299, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Silvestre, 2002. "Permanent and temporary internal migrations in Spain, 1877-1936 : determinants and labour market impact," Working Papers 200221, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    2. Domènech Feliu, Jordi & Miley, Thomas Jeffrey, 2013. "Structural change, collective action, and social unrest in 1930s Spain," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp13-05, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.

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    Keywords

    Agricultural labour markets;

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