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Growth And Structural Change In Spain, 1850-2000

  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

    ()

Long run economic progress in modern Spain is assessed in this paper and its comparative performance placed in historical perspective. Over one and a half centuries, income per person rose 15 times. Three main phases can be established: 1850-1950, 1951-1974 and 1975-2000. The finding of growth continuity between mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century is at odds with the widespread view of a nineteenth century of failure and a successful twentieth century. Spain underperformed in the long run mostly due to its sluggish growth in the hundred years up to 1950. Higher destruction of human capital than of physical capital during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath help explain her weaker post-World War II performance. Catching up took place in the late twentieth century, in which the years 1959-74 stand out. Structural change contributed significantly to growth acceleration while lack of exposition to international competition represents a recurrent element of retardation.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wp06-05.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp06-05
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  1. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
  2. Joan R. Rosés & Blanca Sánchez-Alonso, 2002. "Regional Wage Convergence In Spain 1850-1930," Working Papers in Economic History wh025301, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  3. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 389-428, June.
  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, 05.
  5. Eichengreen, Barry & Uzan, Marc, 1992. "The Marshall Plan: Economic Effects and Implications for Eastern Europe and the Former USSR," CEPR Discussion Papers 638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barry Eichengreen., 1991. "The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump, Revisited," Economics Working Papers 91-156, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Joan Ramon Rosés, 2003. "Regional industrialisation without national growth: The Catalan industrialization and the growth of Spanish economy (1830-1861)," Economics Working Papers 716, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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