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Path to survival: The response to the production crisis of the late 18th century in the Spanish region of Guadalajara.

Santiago Caballero, Carlos (2009) Path to survival: The response to the production crisis of the late 18th century in the Spanish region of Guadalajara. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis studies the economy and society of the province of Guadalajara during the eighteenth century, with an special focus in the production crisis of the 1760s and the way in which the population in the province was able to avoid its negative effects. The contributions of the thesis are several. First it provides an original dataset with more than 200,000 observations that includes time series of grain production, baptisms, burials and prices for the eighteenth century. The dataset also includes a considerable cross section database for more than 1,000 municipalities in New Castile with economic and social variables extracted from the Catastro de la Ensenada. The thesis adds new quantitative information to recent academic debates like the analysis of income inequality in pre-modern times, and the study of economic integration. The results indicate that the province of Guadalajara did not suffer the effects of a Malthusian crisis for several reasons. Firstly, the region was ready to face a production crisis, thanks to a low population density and a high production of grain per capita. Secondly, income inequality decreased, especially improving the situation of the smallest grain producers. This improvement was particularly intense during the last decades of the eighteenth century coinciding with the production crisis. Finally, the levels of economic integration also allowed producers in Guadalajara to increase their incomes by supplying grain to the surrounding urban areas like the city of Madrid. We will therefore conclude that Guadalajara was able to avoid a Malthusian crisis thanks to the structure of its population, a better distribution of income and due to the high level of economic integration with the rest of New Castile.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, History, History, European
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Economic History

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