Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some reflections based on new empirical evidence
This paper attempts at contributing to the ongoing debate on the historical roots of the high economic inequality of contemporary Iberian America. Basically empirical, our approach departs from mainstream scholarship. We show new data on wages and heights in several viceroyalties that: 1) suggest relatively medium to high levels of material welfare among the commoners in Bourbon Hispanic America; 2) allow us to build indexes of economic inequality. An international comparison of those indexes casts some doubts on the widely accepted view that Viceroyal America’s economy was exclusively based on extremely unequal or extractive institutions, as it has been popularized by the influential works by Engerman and Sokoloff (1994, 2002, 2005), Acemoglu et al. (2002).
|Date of creation:||2010|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Latin American and Iberian Economic History 28.2(2010): pp. 253-277|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- A'Hearn, Brian & Komlos, John, 2003. "Improvements in Maximum Likelihood Estimators of Truncated Normal Samples with Prior Knowledge of σ," Discussion Papers in Economics 51, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Matthew J. Baker & Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2008. "Did History Breed Inequality? Colonial Factor Endowments and Modern Income Distribution," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/86, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002.
"Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "Lost decades? : independence and latin America’s falling behind, 1820-1870," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-18, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
- Miriam Bruhn & Francisco Gallego, 2008. "Good, Bad, and Ugly Colonial Activities: Studying Development Across the Americas," Documentos de Trabajo 334, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
- Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
- Baskes, Jeremy, 2005. "Colonial Institutions and Cross-Cultural Trade: Repartimiento Credit and Indigenous Production of Cochineal in Eighteenth-Century Oaxaca, Mexico," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 186-210, March.
- A'Hearn, Brian, 2003. "Anthropometric Evidence on Living Standards in Northern Italy, 1730 1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 351-381, June.
- Francesco Cinnirella, 2008. "On the road to industrialization: nutritional status in Saxony, 1690–1850," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 2(3), pages 229-257, October.
- John Komlos & Joo Han Kim, "undated". "Estimating Trends in Historical Heights," Articles by John Komlos 25, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
- John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2.
- Komlos, John, 2003. "An anthropometric history of early-modern France," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 159-189, August.
- Komlos, John & Hau, Michel & Bourginat, Nicolas, 2003. "An Anthropometric History of Early-Modern France," Discussion Papers in Economics 54, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Angeles, Luis, 2007. "Income inequality and colonialism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1155-1176, July.
- Luis Angeles, 2005. "Income Inequality and Colonialism," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0543, Economics, The University of Manchester.
- L Angeles, 2005. "Income Inequality and Colonialism," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 66, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
- Komlos, John, 2005. "On English Pygmies and Giants: the Physical Stature of English Youth in the late-18th and early-19th Centuries," Discussion Papers in Economics 573, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Lopez , J. Humberto & Perry, Guillermo, 2008. "Inequality in Latin America : determinants and consequences," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4504, The World Bank.
- Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions," NBER Working Papers 14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baten, Joerg & Pelger, Ines & Twrdek, Linda, 2009. "The anthropometric history of Argentina, Brazil and Peru during the 19th and early 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 319-333, December.
- Rafael Dobado & Gustavo A. Marrero, 2011. "The role of the Spanish imperial state in the mining‐led growth of Bourbon Mexico's economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 855-884, 08.
- Carson, Scott Alan, 2007. "Mexican body mass index values in the late-19th-century American West," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 37-47, March.
- Rafael Dobado González, 2009. "Herencia colonial y desarrollo económico en Iberoamérica," Documentos de trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales 09-04, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
- Rafael Dobado González & Hector García, 2009. "Neither so low nor so short! Wages and heights in eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries colonial Hispanic America," Working Papers del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 0914, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
- Steckel, Richard H., 1986. "A Peculiar Population: The Nutrition, Health, and Mortality of American Slaves from Childhood to Maturity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 721-741, September.
- Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 167-174, March.
- Cinnirella, Francesco, 2008. "Optimists or pessimists? A reconsideration of nutritional status in Britain, 1740–1865," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 325-354, December.
- Carson, Scott Alan, 2005. "The biological standard of living in 19th century Mexico and in the American West," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 405-419, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)