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

  • Daniel Tirado


  • Marc Badia-Miró


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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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wp12-03.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-03
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  1. 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.
  2. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2008. "Was Germany ever united? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade 1885 – 1933," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 871, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Julio Martinez-Galarraga & Joan R. Roses & Daniel A. Tirado Fabregat, 2009. "The Upswing of Regional Income Inequality in Spain (1860-1930)," Working Papers in Economic History wp09-05, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  5. Joan R. Rosés & Daniel A. Tirado & Julio Martínez-Galarraga, 2010. "The long-term patterns of regional income inequality in Spain (1860-2000)," Working Papers in Economic History wp10-08, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  6. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Rosés, Joan R., 2007. "The Sources of Long-run Growth in Spain 1850-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 6189, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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