Historical frontiers and the rise of inequality : the case of the frontier of Granada
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This paper explores the political economy that leads frontier regions to be unequal. By focusing on the presence of a stable frontier between Castile and the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada in the late Middle Ages, our analysis shows how a historical border may generate differences in inequality that can become extremely persistent. We argue that the dynamics of being a militarily insecure frontier region created the conditions on the Castilian side for a high concentration of economic and political power. Through the application of a border specification and a spatial regression discontinuity design to municipal-level data, we find that municipalities on the Castilian side have a significantly higher percentage of landless workers, a greater accumulation of wealth, and more jurisdictional rights among the privileged orders, as measured in the eighteenth century. We use current indicators of land inequality and development to show that the effect of the frontier of Granada persists even today.
Oto-Peralías , D & Romero-Ávila , D 2017 , ' Historical frontiers and the rise of inequality : the case of the frontier of Granada ' , Journal of the European Economic Association , vol. 15 , no. 1 , pp. 54-98 . https://doi.org/10.1093/jeea/jvw004
Journal of the European Economic Association
Copyright (c), The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Economic Association. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/jeea/jvw004
DescriptionThe authors acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (grant ECO2009-13357), the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness (grant ECO2012-35430) and the Andalusian Council of Innovation and Science (Excellence Project SEJ-4546).
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