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Inequality and Growth in a Developing Economy: Evidence from Regional Data (Spain, 1860–1930)

  • Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (a1) and Julio Martinez-Galarraga (a2)


This article measures inequality at the provincial level in Spain for different benchmark years between 1860 and 1930. It then empirically assesses the relationship between economic growth and inequality. The results confirm that, although growing incomes did not directly contribute to reducing inequality, at least during the early stages of modern economic growth, other processes associated with economic growth such as the rural exodus to urban and industrial centers, the demographic transition, and the spread of literacy, among others, notably improved the situation of the bottom part of the population.



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Previous versions of this paper were presented at the “10th EHES Conference” (London School of Economics), the “Sixth Iberian Economic History Workshop – Iberometrics VI” (Universidad de Zaragoza) and the IECON Seminar (Universidad de la República, Montevideo). We would like to thank the participants for their comments. We also gratefully acknowledge the feedback and suggestions received from Domingo Gallego, Jordi Guilera, Alfonso Herranz, and Daniel Tirado, as well as those from the editor and the referees. This research received financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (projects HAR2015-64076-P, ECO2015-65582, ECO2015-65049-C12-1-P and ECO2017-90848-REDT), the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (projects PGC2018-095529-B-I00 and PGC2018-095821-B-I00), and the Research Council of Norway (Project 249723).



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Inequality and Growth in a Developing Economy: Evidence from Regional Data (Spain, 1860–1930)

  • Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (a1) and Julio Martinez-Galarraga (a2)


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