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Economic integration and regional inequality in Iberia (1900-2000) : a geographical approach


  • Tirado, Daniel A.
  • Badia-Miró, Marc


This paper studies the evolution of regional inequality in Iberia from 1900 to 2000 from a geographical perspective. For doing that the text presents a new dataset of historical regional GDPs for Spanish NUTS III and Portuguese Historical Districts (HD), synthetic indices of regional inequality and different measures of spatial correlation across regional pc GDPs. The results show that Portuguese and Spanish national economic integration processes initially favored the economic specialization across Iberian regions fostering the divergence in terms of their regional pc GDPs. Notwithstanding, ulterior advances in the integration of national markets and the subsequent first stages in the process of adhesion of these two national economies into the UE coexisted with a progressive reduction in Iberian regional inequality. So, Iberian regional inequality depicts a long term U-shaped evolution. Nevertheless, at the same time, Iberian regional inequality evolution followed a significant geographical pattern. The poorest regions cluster in inland territories of the south and west, with regions belonging to this cluster sited on the two sides of the political border. On the contrary, richest regions cluster along the coasts, especially in the north-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Besides, the data show that this pattern was well established in the middle of the XX century, before the reciprocal openness of national markets in the 1980s. In this respect, the adhesion of both economies to the UE in 1986 seems to have just caused an ulterior deepening in this historical pattern

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  • Tirado, Daniel A. & Badia-Miró, Marc, 2012. "Economic integration and regional inequality in Iberia (1900-2000) : a geographical approach," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-03, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2009. "Was Germany Ever United? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade, 1885–1933," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 846-881, September.
    2. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Rosés, Joan R., 2009. "The Sources of Long-Run Growth in Spain, 1850-2000," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(04), pages 1063-1091, December.
    3. Julio Martínez-Galarraga & Joan R. Rosés & Daniel A. Tirado, 2015. "The Long-Term Patterns of Regional Income Inequality in Spain, 1860-2000," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(4), pages 502-517, April.
    4. Lains, Pedro, 2003. "Catching up to the European core: Portuguese economic growth, 1910-1990," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 369-386, October.
    5. Rosés, Joan Ramón & Martínez-Galarraga, Julio & Tirado, Daniel A., 2010. "The upswing of regional income inequality in Spain (1860-1930)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 244-257, April.
    6. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2005. "Path dependent border effects: the case of Poland's reunification (1918-1939)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 414-438, July.
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    More about this item


    Regional inequality;

    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

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    1. Historical Economic Geography


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