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Economic effects of the Black Death: Spain in European perspective

Carlos Álvarez Nogal, Leandro Prados de la Escosura () and Carlos Santiago Caballero
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Carlos Álvarez-Nogal () and Carlos Santiago-Caballero ()

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

Abstract: The Black Death was the most devastating demographic shock in recorded human history. However, the effects in the European population were highly asymmetrical as were its economic consequences. This paper studies the short and long run economic effects of the plague in Spain in European perspective. While the demographic impact in Spain was moderate compared to the European average, the economic effects were more severe and incomes per head fell sharply. This was a consequence of the existence of a frontier economy in Spain characterised by a relative scarcity of labour and a fragile equilibrium between factors of production. Unlike most of Europe, in Spain the Black Death increased inequality as the remuneration of labour decreased more rapidly than proprietors' gains. In the long term the Plague reinforced the frontier economy status.

Keywords: Black; Death; Frontier; Economy; Malthusian; Spain; Income; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 N13 N33 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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Journal Article: Economic effects of the Black Death: Spain in European perspective (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cte:whrepe:30466

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