IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

El carácter de la especialización olivarera en el sur de España (1750-1930). Ecología, campesinado e historia


  • Juan Infante Amate



Olive tree represents today the major tree concentration in Europe. Its great expansion started at 19th Century caused by liberal agrarian reforms and, traditionally, has been associated with agrarian modernization in Mediterranean basin due to the growing integration of its production in domestic and foreign markets. This paper seeks to review the causes and the origins its expansion introducing new methods derived form environmental history and social history. We study local case studies which historical sources allow us to profound in this subject with more detail than at aggregate scale, starting at 1750 (when olive land was scarce) and finishing at 1930 (once consummated the firs great expansion known as “golden age”). The main findings show the causes of the weak specialization before 19th Century; the multifunctional character of traditional olive production; how its expansion was also determined by ecological particularities of this crop and by its function on substitute deficit products like woodfire or animal feed; and, finally, how small farming was behind its expansion using olive orchards like a peasant productive strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Infante Amate, 2012. "El carácter de la especialización olivarera en el sur de España (1750-1930). Ecología, campesinado e historia," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1201, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1201

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2003. "Institutional and Non-Institutional Explanations of Economic Differences," NBER Working Papers 9989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bayly, C. A., 2008. "Indigenous and colonial origins of comparative economic development : the case of colonial India and Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4474, The World Bank.
    3. Pranab Bardhan, 2005. "Institutions matter, but which ones?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(3), pages 499-532, July.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Rodriguez, JoseL., 1987. "Agricultural policy and development in Cuba," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 23-39, January.
    7. C. A. Bayly, 2008. "Indigenous and Colonial Origins of Comparative Economic Development: The Case of Colonial India and Africa," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 5908, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    8. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
    9. E.H.P. Frankema, 2005. "The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 119, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    11. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
    12. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Eric M. Zolt, 2007. "Inequality and the Evolution of Institutions of Taxation: Evidence from the Economic History of the Americas," NBER Chapters,in: The Decline of Latin American Economies: Growth, Institutions, and Crises, pages 83-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Douglass C. North & Robert Paul Thomas, 1970. "An Economic Theory of the Growth of the Western World," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 23(1), pages 1-17, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    history of the olive tree; environmental history; agricultural history; agrarian specialization; peasantry;

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antonio Linares). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.