Technical change, labour absorption and living standards in Andalucía, 1886-1936



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Simpson, James (1988) Technical change, labour absorption and living standards in Andalucía, 1886-1936. [ Documentos de Trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales; nº 10, 1988, ISSN: 2255-5471 ]

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Economic historians have specified the land problem in Spain as one of the reasons for the failure of the Second Republic and for the nation's bitter Civil War between 1936 and 1939.
They have especially singled out the region of Andalucia in the southern part of the country for the underutilization of its agricultural resources, concentration of landed property, and the poverty experienced by much of its rural population. If the economic rationality of pre-Civil War farming methods in Andalucia is now better understood, historians continue to emphasize the social costs, identifying the miserable conditions in which many agricultural laborers lived as the inevitable result of an extensive farming system with low wages and a highly seasonal employment demand. These conditions led an appreciable number of people to take an interest in radical politics, especially anarchism. But, whereas a number of historians have studied social protest, tracing both the development of coherent ideologies and organization of action against landlord or the state during the half century prior to the Civil War, little or no work has been done to show whether the plight of farm laborers improved or deteriorated during the same period. This article tries to remedy this gap In the literature by examining changes in the long run supply and demand for labor in agriculture. It then considers the implications of these changes on worker's living standards. The main conclusion is that, although rural poverty was acute, it is difficult to find evidence of it worsening over the 50 years prior to the 1936-1939 Civil War.

Item Type:Working Paper or Technical Report
Uncontrolled Keywords:Andalucía 1886-1936, Labour absorption
Subjects:Social sciences > Economics > Regional economics
Series Name:Documentos de Trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
ID Code:23202
Deposited On:17 Oct 2013 09:28
Last Modified:08 Apr 2015 12:03

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