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The True History of the Depopulation of Rural Spain and How It Can Help Us Improve Our Policies

Fernando Collantes () and Vicente Pinilla
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Fernando Collantes: Universidad de Zaragoza e Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón, Spain

No 2001, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociación Española de Historia Económica

Abstract: In explaining the causes of depopulation, we seek in this study, to shift the emphasis from public policies towards a wider combination of technological, business, territorial and social factors. More often than not, our public policies have done little to curb depopulation, particularly during the ranco period and the early years of the democracy. However, the key factor of depopulation is the gap between rural and urban living conditions upon which it is not easy to act. Mass migrations in the decades after the 1950s were a consequence of the limitations of the rural economic change, the rural penalty in terms of access to infrastructures and services and the persistent gender gap in rural societies. The characteristics of agricultural and industrial technology, the economic geography of business activity and the highly disperse nature of rural settlement, among other factors, made it very difficult for the rural populations to aspire to seeing these problems corrected. Given that depopulation is the result of a complex combination of factors, many of which, in the best of cases, can only be partially or indirectly influenced by public policies, we need to focus the debate on how to design better policies.

Keywords: Depopulation; rural exodus; population policies; rural development; economic history of Spain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 J18 N94 R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:2001