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Rural labour markets and rural conflict in Spain before the Civil War (1931-1936)

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  • Domènech Feliu, Jordi

Abstract

This paper looks at the causes of rural conflict in 1930s Spain. Rather than stressing bottom-up forces of mobilisation linked to poor harvests and rural unemployment or the inability of the state to enforce reformist legislation, this paper explores the role of state policy in sorting out the acute coordination and collective action problems of mobilising rural labourers. I do so by looking at the effects of intervention on rural labour markets in dry-farming areas of Spain (parts of Castile and of Andalusia). Given the difficulties of constructing a conclusive test of my hypothesis, I follow three indirect testing strategies. Firstly, I look at the qualitative evidence on the functioning of labour markets in dry-farming areas of Spain. Secondly, because my argument implies the existence of severe restrictions to the labour supply of rural labourers during the harvest in the early 1930s, I study the evolution of harvest-to-winter wage ratios before and after the passing of legislation. Thirdly, in order to show that alternative hypotheses to explain rural conflict are not consistent with the historical record, I study the diffusion of union offices and general strikes in the early 1930s in several dry-farming provinces of Spain

Suggested Citation

  • Domènech Feliu, Jordi, 2012. "Rural labour markets and rural conflict in Spain before the Civil War (1931-1936)," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-01, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Silvestre, Javier, 2005. "Internal migrations in Spain, 1877 1930," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 233-265, August.
    2. Simpson,James, 2003. "Spanish Agriculture," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521525169.
    3. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Domènech Feliu, Jordi, 2013. "Land tenure inequality, harvests, and rural conflict ; evidence from Southern Spain in the 1930s," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp13-06, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural labour markets;

    JEL classification:

    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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