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Autarkic policy and efficiency in the Spanish industrial sector. An estimate of domestic resource cost in 1958


  • Martínez Ruiz, Elena


The impact that the francoist autarkic economic policy had on the Spanish economy is assessed using the Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) as an indicator. This indicator compares the real opportunity cost of the primary factors used in the production of a certain good with its aggregated value at international prices. Since the DRC provides a ranking of sectors classified according their relative efficiency, it can be interpreted as an indicator of comparative advantage. Our results indicate that the inefficient allocation of productive factors induced by the interventionist economic policy resulted in a significant loss of efficiency for the economy, such that only 50 out of 125 industries, accounting for 39 percent of the Spanish industrial production, could be considered efficient. However, the paper also shows that the Spanish economy was in a good position to take advantage of the opportunities created by the 1959 reform, as the lion’s share of industrial production was on the verge of relative efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Martínez Ruiz, Elena, 2003. "Autarkic policy and efficiency in the Spanish industrial sector. An estimate of domestic resource cost in 1958," Economic History Working Papers 22352, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22352

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hughes, Gordon & Hare, Paul G, 1992. "Industrial Policy and Restructuring in Eastern Europe," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 82-104, Spring.
    2. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-1393, September.
    3. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-398, March.
    4. Banerji, Ranadev & Donges, Juergen B., 1974. "The domestic resource cost concept: Theory and an empirical application to the case of Spain," Kiel Working Papers 24, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Pearson, Scott R. & Akrasanee, Narongchai & Nelson, Gerald C., 1976. "Comparative Advantage in Rice Production: A Methodological Introduction," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, vol. 15(2), pages 1-12.
    6. Pons, Maria A., 1999. "Capture or agreement? Why Spanish banking was regulated under the Franco regime, 1939–751," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 25-46, April.
    7. Fane, George, 1995. "The Average and Marginal Domestic Resource Cost of Foreign Exchange," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 663-675, October.
    8. Krueger, Anne O, 1972. "Evaluating Restrictionist Trade Regimes: Theory and Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(1), pages 48-62, Jan.-Feb..
    9. Schydlowsky, Daniel M., 1984. "A policymaker's guide to comparative advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 439-449, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925


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