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Standard Budgets in Spanish Economic History: a User’s Guide to Sources and Methods

Francesco Olivanti

No 10, HHB Working Papers Series from The Historical Household Budgets Project


In this paper the author documents a near absence of household budget microdata in the sources for nineteenth century Spain, both published and archival. The sources do however contain a rich set of standard budgets, which can contribute to a better understanding of the history of Spanish living standards.

The paper is divided in three parts: first, the author describes standard budgets and their usefulness for cliometricians; secondly, he traces their history in the Spanish sources; finally, he sketches a few applications to issues in the period 1850-1905.

The latter analysis suggests: a) a substantial variation in cost of living and expenditure patterns across provinces, sectors, and socioeconomic status; b) a sensible impact of alternative CPI weights on national price indices; c) poverty lines ranging between 1,110 and 1,300 euros per year – in 2016 prices – for the years 1850 and 1856.

Keywords: cost of living; economic history; household budgets; living standards; poverty; prices; Spain; standard budgets; wellbeing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 C61 D12 I31 I32 N01 N30 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2018-07-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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