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What price a roof? Housing and the cost of living in 16th-century Toledo

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  • Drelichman, Mauricio
  • Gonzalez Agudo, David

Abstract

Data on housing costs and rental markets for the early modern period are notoriously scarce. We build a database of rent paid on 183 properties belonging to the Cathedral Chapter of Toledo between 1489 and 1600. Using detailed information on location, physical characteristics of the property, and the identity of the renter, we reconstruct housing costs for various social groups and trace the effect of exogenous shocks on the rental market. We then use our data to explore the impact of adding rent to early modern price indices and estimates of living standards. Price indices show a moderate effect. When comparing the living standards of Toledo to two northern European locations, the addition of rent reduces the gap between them by up to 9.5%.

Suggested Citation

  • Drelichman, Mauricio & Gonzalez Agudo, David, 2012. "What price a roof? Housing and the cost of living in 16th-century Toledo," Economics working papers mauricio_drelichman-2012-, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 21 May 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:mauricio_drelichman-2012-15
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    File URL: http://mauricio.econ.ubc.ca/pdfs/toledo.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lvarez-Nogal, Carlos & Prados De La Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "The decline of Spain (1500 1850): conjectural estimates," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 319-366, December.
    2. Horrell, Sara, 1996. "Home Demand and British Industrialization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 561-604, September.
    3. Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290444.
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    Cited by:

    1. J. I. Andrés Ucendo & R. Lanza García, 2014. "Prices and real wages in seventeenth-century Madrid," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 607-626, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    housing; rent indices; living standards; early modern period; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-

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