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The effect of the Spanish Reconquest on Iberian cities

  • David Cuberes

    ()

    (University of Sheffield)

  • Rafael González-Val

    ()

    (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)

This paper studies the effect of the Spanish Reconquest, a military campaign that aimed to expel the Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, on the population of its most important cities. The almost four centuries of Reconquest offer a “quasi-natural” experiment to study the persistence of population shocks at the city level. Analyzing city growth before and after the onset of the Reconquest, we find that it had a significant negative effect on the population of the main Iberian cities. However, when we control for time effects, we conclude that in most cities this effect was transitory. In order to quantify the duration of the shock driven by the Reconquest we then estimate its average effect on the urban share of these cities considering the time dimension of the entire panel of cities simultaneously and adding city-specific time trends. Our estimates suggest that these cities regained their pre-Reconquest shares on average in less than 100 years. These results are robust to controlling for a large set of country and city-specific socioeconomic indicators and spatial effects. Our findings suggest that the locational fundamentals that determined the relative size of Iberian cities before the Reconquest were more important determinants of the fate of these cities than the direct negative impact that the Reconquest had on their population.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2014/4.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-4
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  1. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rafael González-Val & Fernando Pueyo, 2010. "First nature vs. second nature causes: industry location and growth in the presence of an open-access renewable resource," Working Papers 2010/39, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2007. "Looking for multiple equilibria when geography matters: German city growth and the WWII shock," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 152-169, January.
  4. Nitsch, Volker, 2003. "Does history matter for urban primacy? The case of Vienna," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 401-418, July.
  5. Edward Miguel & Gerard Roland, 2006. "The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 11954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, bombs and break points: The geography of economic activity," Discussion Papers 0102-02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  7. J. Vernon Henderson, 2000. "The Effects of Urban Concentration on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 7503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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