RHE 2016 n. 03 invierno

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  • Publication
    Philip II against the cortes and the credit freeze of 1575-1577 - Erratum
    (2016-12-01) Álvarez Nogal, Carlos; Chamley, Christophe
    In footnote 3, an error was introduced during editing. Where it reads “… years after the contribution by Álvarez-Nogal and Chamley (2013, 2014)…”, it should read: “… years after the contribution by Álvarez-Nogal (2000, 2003) …” The publishers apologise for this error.
  • Publication
    Philip II against the cortes and the credit freeze of 1575-1577
    (2016-12-01) Álvarez Nogal, Carlos; Chamley, Christophe; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Numerous archival documents show how the suspension of payments by Philip II, in September 1575, on the contracts with Genoese bankers (asientos) induced a freeze of the domestic credit market in Castile through the bankers’ intermediation for asientos and the credit interconnections. Commercial fairs stopped, banks failed and trade suffered while the king granted legal protection to the Genoese bankers. The evidence strikingly confirms that by his strategy, Philip II was able to remove the de facto ceiling on the domestic debt (juros) imposed by the fixed revenue commitment of the Castilian cities in the Cortes. The agreement with the bankers was signed in December 1577 immediately after the cities had agreed to the doubling of their commitment.
  • Publication
    Vinculaciones políticas en un régimen de banca libre: el caso de la crisis bancaria de 1878 en Chile
    (2016-12) Briones, Ignacio
    In 1878 Chile experienced a banking crisis which brought an end to the Chilean free-banking period based on convertibility initiated in 1860. Using monthly bank balance sheets and other primary sources, I analyze the period and argue that one important explanation for the crisis was the growing relationship between banks and government through state loans to finance fiscal deficits and privileges to the issuing banks. I claim that the crisis emerged from a large bank loan in late 1877 which induced over-issuance and depreciation expectations leading, logically, to a bank run. The Chilean case provides valuable evidence of an element frequently neglected by the free-banking literature: the links between banks and government.
  • Publication
    The Dynamics and Determinants of Slave Prices in an Urban Setting: Santiago De Chile, c. 1773-1822
    (2016-12) Cussen, Celia; Llorca-Jaña, Manuel; Droller, Federico
    This paper provides the first survey of slave prices for Santiago de Chile, c. 1773-1822. It also establishes the main determinants of slave prices during this period. We gathered and analysed over 3,800 sale operations. Our series confirm the usual inverted U-shape when prices are plotted against age, and that age was a very important determinant of slave prices. We also found that: female slaves were systematically priced over male slaves, quite contrary to what happened in most other markets; the prime age of Santiago slaves was 16-34, a younger range than for most other places; male slave prices moved in the same direction as real wages of unskilled workers; and the impact of the free womb law on market prices in 1811 was dramatic.
  • Publication
    Why did Spanish Regions not Converge before the Civil War? Agglomeration Economies and (Regional) Growth Revisited
    (2016-12) Díez Minguela, Alfonso; Martínez-Galarraga, Julio; Tirado-Fabregat, Daniel A.; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    In this paper we explore the relationship between the presence of agglomeration economies and regional economic growth in Spain during the period 1870-1930. The study allows us to revisit the existence of a trade-off between economic growth and territorial cohesion, and also to examine whether the existence of agglomeration economies could explain the upswing in regional income inequality during the early stages of development. In doing so, we present alternative indicators for agglomeration economies and estimate conditional growth regressions at province (NUTS3) level. In line with new economic geography models, agglomeration economies in a context of market integration widened regional inequality in the second half of the 19th century and hindered its reduction during the early decades of the 20th.
  • Publication
    Do Democracies Spend Less on the Military? Spain as a Long-Term Case Study (1876-2009)
    (2016-12) Sabaté, Oriol
    This paper analyses the influence of political regimes on the level and economic composition of military expenditure in Spain over the long run. In contrast with the widely accepted negative relation between democracy and military spending, the paper suggests that democratic governments established in the late 1970s and early 1980s after Franco’s dictatorship had a positive influence on the military burden owing to the efforts to reorient the army towards international threats and to involve the armed forces with the newly democratic institutions. In addition, the analysis of military expenditure allows us to conclude that the international orientation of democratic military policies took place along with financial efforts to obtain a capital-intensive army to confront international military threats.