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Was Colonialism Fiscally Sustainable? An Empirical Examination of the Colonial Finances of Spanish America

Javier L. Arnaut ()
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Javier L. Arnaut: International Centre for Research and Analysis (ICRA), Warsaw, Poland

No 1703, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica

Abstract: This paper examines the long-run fiscal sustainability of the colonial finances of Spanish America. Using econometric tests of intertemporal stability and a macroeconomic budget constraint framework, the analysis revisits how the long-run fiscal dynamics of the colonial treasuries adjusted for inflation changed over time. Findings suggest that in spite of historical breakpoints associated to major financial difficulties during wartime, in general the treasuries achieved sustainable fiscal balances. However, there was a shifting pattern of fiscal sustainability between the treasuries across the colonial period.

Keywords: Fiscal sustainability; Colonialism; Cajas reales; Spanish America; Cointegration. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C32 H61 E62 F54 N16 N26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-mac
Date: 2017-03
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