Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Debates on Development issues in the Spain, 19th-20th century

Gallego Elena , Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Trincado Estrella, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

In this presentation, we will study the debates on development issues that defined the development model implemented in Spain and defended by different theorists. In Spain, first attempts to industrialization were made on the late nineteenth century, with debates centered on the need to introduce the gold standard (Flores de Lemus…) and on protectionism versus liberalism (Figuerola versus Canovas). To study the influence of economic ideas in the nineteenth century, we will make a list of Trade Schools (Escuelas de Comercio) and Universities and study the programs where the subject of political economy appears and the main teachers that spread its contents. In the Civil War from 1936-1939, each side proposed different economic models. The self-management experiences were an original proposal defended by the left side economists. Once Franco Regime was imposed, there is a long lag until 1953 with a clear backwardness and underdeveloped economy, based on autarchy policies and interventionism, with price controls and regulations. Economists tended to justify self-sufficiency and followed the doctrine of fascism corporatism which continued with the nineteenth century protectionism tradition. However, the 50s implied a change in Spanish economic thought. Developmental studies flourished, in special focused on the need to increase the exportations through rent policies and control over exchange rates. The opening of the economy produced good results leading to the introduction of liberal democracy in 1975. From then on, structural changes, oil shocks and economic crises of the 1970s lead to an increasing acceptance of neoliberalism, that won the battle in the 90s. The 2007 crisis, however, changed the ideas of many economists, making them more suspicious of market solutions.


Keywords: Development studies, Spanish economic thought, backwardness, dissemination of ideas

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