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The question of land access and the Spanish Land Reform of 1932

Carmona, Juan, Roses, Joan R. ORCID: 0000-0003-0661-3134 and Simpson, James (2018) The question of land access and the Spanish Land Reform of 1932. Economic History Review. ISSN 0013-0117

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ehr.12654


Spanish land reform, involving the break-up of the large southern estates, was a central issue during the first decades of the twentieth century, and justified for economic and political reasons. We employ new provincial data on landless workers, land prices and agrarian wages to consider if government intervention was needed because of the failure of the free action of markets to redistribute land. Our evidence shows that the relative number of landless workers decreased significantly from 1860 to 1930 before the approval of the 1932 Land Reform during the Second Republic (1931-36). This was due to two interrelated market forces: the falling ratio between land prices and rural wages, which made land cheaper for landless workers to rent and buy land plots, and structural change that drained rural population from the countryside. Given that shifts in factor prices were helping workers gain access to land, the economic arguments for reform by the 1930s remain unclear

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Economic History Society
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 13:26
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:03
Projects: ECO2012‐36213
Funders: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

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