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The origins of economic growth and regional income inequality in South-West Europe 1870-1950

Daniel Tirado-Fabregat (), M. Teresa Sanchís Llopis, Julio Martinez-Galarraga () and Alfonso Díez Minguela ()

IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola

Abstract: This study focuses on South-West Europe, an area comprising France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, to evaluate inequality in regional income between 1870 and 1950. To do this, information on a decadal basis on regional population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 171 regions (84 French départements, 22 Italian regioni, 18 Portuguese distritos and 49 Spanish provincias) has been collected. Regional inequalities increased between 1870 and 1910 but subsequently tended to flatten out through until 1950. In the first period, regional disparities increased mainly driven by a handful of French and Spanish regions in northern France, such as the Paris basin, Catalonia, the Basque-Country and northern Italy. In the second period, inequality flattened out, driven by the incorporation of new regions on the path of modern economic growth. The study also shows the evolution towards a bimodal, polarized pattern of regional income distribution in 1910-1950 with two convergence clubs. The richest regions were clustering in northern France, the Paris basin and the north of Italy. Meanwhile, most of southern Italy and the vast majority of the Spanish and Portuguese regions already occupied the bottom positions in the income distribution ranking. This point to the emergence of the core-periphery pattern that characterizes much of South-West Europe today.

Keywords: Economic; History; Regional; inequality; France; Spain; Italy; Portugal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N93 N94 R11 O18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro, nep-his and nep-sbm
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