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The rise and fall of Spain, 1270-1850

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos Álvarez-Noga

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

"Two distinctive regimes can be observed in preindustrial Spain. A first one (1270-1590) corresponds to a high land-labour ratio frontier economy, largely pastoral, trade-oriented, and led by towns. Wage and food consumption levels were high as were living standards. Sustained per capita growth took place after Reconquista ended (1264) and until the Black Death and the Spanish phase of the Hundred Years War. Then, it resumed over 1390s-1590s only interrupted by mid-15th century political turmoil. A second regime (1590s-1810s) corresponds to a more agricultural and densely populated, low wage economy with growth occurring along a lower path since the late 17th century. Spain’s affluence by 1492 can be tracked down to the pre-Black Death era. Spain’s decline sinks its roots in the early 17th century. Per capita GDP growth in the early 19th century occurred, paradoxically, while Spain fell behind Western Europe."

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Álvarez-Noga & Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2010. "The rise and fall of Spain, 1270-1850," Working Papers 10010, Economic History Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehs:wpaper:10010
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preindustrial Spain; Frontier economy; Black Death;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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