Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Demography and Economic Growth, 1500-1850

51 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2016 Last revised: 7 Dec 2016

Nuno Palma

University of Groningen - Department of Economics, Econometrics, and Finance

Jaime Reis

University of Lisbon - Institute of Social Science

Date Written: September 13, 2016

Abstract

We construct the first time-series for Portugal’s per capita GDP for 1500-1850, drawing on a new and extensive database. Starting around 1550 there was a highly persistent upward trend of per capita income, which accelerated after 1700 and peaked 50 years later. At that point, per capita incomes were high by European standards. But as the second half of the eighteenth century unfolded, a phase of economic decline was initiated. This continued into the nineteenth century, and Portugal found itself as one of the most backward European economies precisely at the dawn of the era of modern economic growth.

Keywords: Early Modern Portugal, Historical National Accounts, Standards of Living Debate, The Little Divergence, Malthusian Model

JEL Classification: N13, O52

Suggested Citation

Palma, Nuno and Reis, Jaime, From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Demography and Economic Growth, 1500-1850 (September 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2839971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2839971

Nuno Palma (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Department of Economics, Econometrics, and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/npgpalma/home

Jaime Reis

University of Lisbon - Institute of Social Science ( email )

Av. Professor Anibal Betencourt, 9
Lisboa, 1649-004
Portugal

Paper statistics

Downloads
80
Rank
269,070
Abstract Views
279