From Locational Fundamentals to Increasing Returns: The Spatial Concentration of Population in Spain, 1787-2000
María-Isabel Ayuda (),
Fernando Collantes () and
Vicente Pinilla ()
Additional contact information Fernando Collantes: Department of Applied Economics and Economic History. Faculty of Economics and Business Studies. University of Zaragoza.
Does population follow the same inverted-U pattern of concentration/dispersion that has been found in the case of economic activity in the long run? In this paper we present the evidence for eight European countries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and find that, contrary to the inverted-U hypothesis, population has shown a steady, long-run trend towards concentration. After that, we estimate population density and population growth equations for the case of one of these countries, Spain from 1787 to 2000. Our results suggest that locational fundamentals (such as natural endowments) explain the distribution of population before industrialization and that industrialization reinforced the pre-existing regional population disparities, especially as the share of increasing-returns sectors in the Spanish economy became significant (that is, mainly during the twentieth century).