License to till: The privileges of the Spanish Mesta as a case of second-best institutions
Explorations in Economic History, 2009, vol. 46, issue 2, 220-240
The Mesta was the association of the migratory shepherds of Castile, controlling fine wool production between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Its royally granted privileges have often been blamed for the stagnant Spanish agricultural productivity during the early modern period. I argue that the Mesta's privileges allowed Medieval Castile to develop its comparative advantage in wool, and that the Crown was able to restrict their scope and application when economic conditions favored arable farming interests. I support my argument with extensive archival data, including a new series of wool prices and a detailed analysis of lawsuits involving the Mesta.
Keywords: Mesta; Second-best; institutions; Early; modern; Castile; Medieval; legal; systems; Spain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: License to Till: The Privileges of the Spanish Mesta as a Case of Second Best Institutions (2008)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:2:p:220-240
Access Statistics for this article
Explorations in Economic History is currently edited by R.H. Steckel
More articles in Explorations in Economic History from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().