RHE 2015 n. 01 primavera

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Archivo Abierto Institucional de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid: RHE V. 33 Nº 1 primavera 2015

Panorama and Debate



Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Salarios y precios de los factores en Buenos Aires, 1770-1880. Una aproximación a la distribución funcional del ingreso en el largo plazo
    This article studies inequality in Buenos Aires from the late colonial period to the beginning of the belle époque through series of prices based on primary sources. This enables a comparison of the evolution of land prices and wages in order to estimate the functional income distribution among workers and proprietors. The evolution of livestock prices is assessed as well to capture a more complete image of capital income, due to the importance of cattle raising for the economy of Buenos Aires. The outcome reveals an increasing inequality since the dawn of the cattle-farming boom at the beginning of the independent era.
  • Publication
    Precios, producto agrario y salarios en las fronteras rioplatenses, 1700-1810: una nueva mirada sobre el crecimiento económico tardocolonial
    (2015-03) Djenderedjian, Julio; Martirén, Juan Luis
    This article presents and analyses wholesale price series of Santa Fe (Argentina), an essential core of colonial commercial circuits, during the period 1700-1810. Mainly from monastic sources, the presented series include 14 products from local and regional origin. Production data has also been deflated using these indexes and purchasing power of wages has been measured. This allows studying inflation, deflation and standards of living and their relation to economic growth. Growth, even prior to trade liberalization of 1778, was matched by deflation so it may suggest improvements in mercantile circuits. This new evidence provides a solid tool for regional and international comparative analysis
  • Publication
    Mexico’s Real Wages in the Age of the Great Divergence, 1750s-1920s
    (2015-03) Challú, Amílcar E.; Gómez-Galvarriato, Aurora
    This study builds the first internationally comparable index of real wages for Mexico City bridging the 18th and the early 20th century. Real wages started out in relatively high international levels in the mid 18th century, but declined from the late 1770s on, with some partial and temporal rebounds after the 1810s. After the 1860s, real wages recovered and eventually reached 18th-century levels in the early 20th century. Real wages of Mexico City’s workers subsequently fell behind those of high-wage economies to converge with the lower fringes of middle-wage economies. The age of the global Great Divergence was Mexico’s own age of stagnation and decline relative to the world economy.
  • Publication
    Optimistic but Flawed? A Reply
    (2015-03) Arroyo Abad, Leticia; Van Zanden, Jan Luiten
    Replying to Rafael Dobado-González’s article on living standards in Spanish America during the colonial period, we discuss the methodology and evidence published in Arroyo Abad, Davis, and van Zanden (2012).
  • Publication
    Una de cal y otra de arena: Building Comparable Real Wages in a Global Perspective
    (2015-03) Allen, Robert C.; Murphy, Tommy E.; Schneider, Eric B.
    This paper discusses some of the criticisms recently raised by Rafael Dobado-González about our work on real wages in the Americas in the long run. Although addressing a series of issues, Dobado mainly questions our use of the welfare ratio methodology to assess standards of living in colonial Spanish America. In this article we explain how, despite its limitations, this methodology provides a solid, transparent metric to compare economic development across space and time. In particular, welfare ratios present more economically relevant information on living standards than the commodity wages that Dobado prefers (Dobado González and García Montero 2014). We argue that Dobado fails to offer convincing evidence against our findings; hence, we stand by these results, which suggest that the divergence between North and Latin America began early in the colonial period.
  • Publication
    Pre-Independence Spanish Americans: Poor, Short and Unequal... Or the opposite?
    (2015-03) Dobado González, Rafael
    This paper attempts to establish a debate between alternative views of living standards in Spanish America during the viceregal period. Since 2009, a growing literature has shared a «common language» based on a similar, though not identical, methodology. As never before, this «new generation» of studies is built upon long series of quantitative data and international comparisons of nominal wages and prices which, in some cases, cover the whole Early Modern Era. Part of this literature also complements the examination of economic welfare using height as an indicator of biological welfare. Inequality is also quantitatively approached in one of the works discussed. In spite of significant similarities, some methodological differences lead to contrasting results. For the sake of simplicity, the relevant literature is divided into two views: «pessimism» and «optimism». It is my contention that the latter is more consistent with the available evidence.