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Relative deprivation and labour conflict during Spain’s industrialization: the Bilbao estuary, 1914–1936

Stefan Houpt () and Juan Carlos Rojo Cagigal
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Juan Carlos Rojo Cagigal: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Getafe, Madrid, Spain

Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, 2014, vol. 8, issue 3, 335-369

Abstract: What drove social conflict in Spain’s industrial areas in the period before the Spanish Civil War? This paper is concerned with contrasting the determinants of working-class conflict in northern Spain at the beginning of the twentieth century. Our hypothesis is that the key determinant of conflicts in emerging industrial areas during the interwar period was the struggle to obtain satisfactory family income in a context of combined high price fluctuation, unemployment and economic boom and bust. We suggest two new ways to decipher how economic factors interact with labour conflict. We introduce the family as the relevant income unit when considering wage struggles and relative deprivation. And secondly, we study the reactions to short-term variations of income on families by using monthly rather than quarterly or annual data.

Keywords: Strikes; Relative deprivation; Industrialization; Labour relations; Interwar period; Spain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D19 E31 J52 J53 N34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:8:y:2014:i:3:p:335-369