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Growth Recurring in Preindustrial Spain: Half a Millennium Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

    (Universidad Carlos III and CEPR)

  • Carlos Álvarez-Nogal

    (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Carlos Santiago-Caballero

    (Universidad Carlos III)

Abstract

Research in economic history has lately challenged the Malthusian depiction of preindustrial European economies, highlighting ‘efflorescences’, ‘Smithian’ and ‘growth recurring’ episodes. Do these defining concepts apply to preindustrial Spain? On the basis of new yearly estimates of output and population for nearly 600 years we show that preindustrial Spain was far from stagnant and phases of per capita growth and shrinkage alternated. Population and output per head evolved along supporting the hypothesis of a frontier economy. After a long phase of sustained and egalitarian growth, a collapse in the 1570s opened a new era of sluggish growth and high inequality. The unintended consequences of imperial ambitions in Europe on economic activity, rather than Malthusian forces, help to explain it.

Suggested Citation

  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura & Carlos Álvarez-Nogal & Carlos Santiago-Caballero, 2020. "Growth Recurring in Preindustrial Spain: Half a Millennium Perspective," Working Papers 0177, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Leticia Arroyo Abad & Nuno Palma, 2020. "The Fruits of El Dorado: The Global Impact of American Precious Metals," Economics Discussion Paper Series 2003, Economics, The University of Manchester, revised May 2021.
    2. Carlos Álvarez-Nogal & Leandro Prados de la Escosura & Carlos Santiago-Caballero, 2020. "Economic effects of the Black Death: Spain in European perspective," Investigaciones de Historia Económica - Economic History Research (IHE-EHR), Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociación Española de Historia Económica, vol. 16(04), pages 35-48.
    3. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2020. "The Economic Impact of the Black Death," Working Papers 2020-14, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    4. C. Vladimir Rodríguez-Caballero & J. Eduardo Vera-Valdés, 2020. "Long-Lasting Economic Effects of Pandemics:Evidence on Growth and Unemployment," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 8(3), pages 1-16, September.
    5. Guido Alfani, 2020. "Epidemics, inequality and poverty in preindustrial and early industrial times," Working Papers 2020-16, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    6. Carlos Santiago-Caballero, 2021. "Domestic migrations in Spain during its first industrialisation, 1840s–1870s," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 15(3), pages 535-563, September.
    7. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Rodríguez-Caballero, Carlos Vladimir, 2020. "Growth, War, and Pandemics: Europe in the Very Long-run," CEPR Discussion Papers 14816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Adam Brzezinski & Roberto Bonfatti & K. KıvançKaraman & Nuno Palma, 2020. "Monetary Capacity," Economics Series Working Papers 926, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Maciej Stefański, 2020. "GDP Effects of Pandemics: A Historical Perspective," Working Papers 2020-057, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis.
    10. Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime & Rodrigues, Lisbeth, 2021. "Historical gender discrimination does not explain comparative Western European development: Evidence from Portugal, 1300 - 1900," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 551, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    11. Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López & Alfonso Herranz-Loncán & Filippo Tassinari & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2021. "Paving the way to modern growth. Evidence from Bourbon roads in Spain," Working Papers 0209, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preindustrial Spain; Frontier economy; Black Death; Malthusian; Growth recurring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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