نابرابری درآمد در مرکز اسپانیا، 1690-1800
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7381||2011||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Explorations in Economic History, Volume 48, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 83–96
This paper studies the evolution of income inequality in central Spain during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, taking as case study the province of Guadalajara. The first part of the paper presents the sources and the dataset that was created to estimate income inequality using grain tithes. The second section shows that through the period grain represented the lion share of total income and therefore that it can be used as a reliable proxy. The following part of the paper introduces an analysis of income inequality in the province during the period 1690–1800 and concludes that inequality decreased during the last third of the eighteenth century. Finally the paper addresses this unexpected result and concludes that it was consequence of the success of the land reform carried out by the central government in the late 1760s. The reform was a success in Guadalajara, thanks to the characteristics of its population and the lack of bargaining power of pressure groups.
From Old English teotha (tenth), the tithe represented a yearly tax that had to be paid by every producer to the ecclesiastical authorities. The first citations to the tithe can be found in the Old Testament, where according to the Genesis Abram paid the tithe to Melchizedek, the King of Salem (Jerusalem) who also occupied the charge or priest of El Elyon (“the Most High God”) (Genesis 14:18). It was a common feature in the economic framework of the middle ages and of modern European countries. In Spain the tithe survived until the Desamortizacion of Mendizabal, a process of confiscation of ecclesiastical properties led by the liberal Spanish government in 1837. During the eighteenth century the tithe paid by producers in Guadalajara represented the usual 10% of the harvest. The description of the tithes and the way the tax was defined was perfectly explained in 18th century manuscripts. “... in this village of Alboreca there are several taxes, tithe rights and primicia that in the case of wheat, barley and oats for every ten fanegas one is paid. In the case of wool one out of ten [units], one lamb out of every ten and also one cheese out of every ten, and that in the primicia one half fanega is paid for every eleven, for all these species and also for rye and peas if they are cultivated. If that amount is not reached everything that exceeds ten will be collected until the previously mentioned eleven. And although the harvest exceeded those eleven nothing else will be paid. And if the production does not reach ten half fanegas then nothing will be paid at all from this right of primicias, understanding that this right is not performed in the case of oats, and that it is a right that is property of the priest of the parish of the mentioned village of Alboreca and as such he receives it.2 The excellent quality of the tithes encouraged its use to analyse the evolution of agrarian production in Spain. The analysis of tithe series facilitated the publication of a significant number of regional studies in medieval and early modern times.3 However the sources used in these studies were usually obtained from the archives of the bishoprics, meaning that they are normally aggregated yearly records for the whole dioceses or shires. The richness of the tazmia books used in this paper allows the researcher a very detailed and unique analysis of the economic reality of grain producers in Spain. Although tazmia books have been used in other regions to estimate the evolution of total production over time, this is the first time that they are being used to calculate the changes in income inequality and therefore open a very promising line of research. The tazmia books contain the information about the tithes paid in every parish. They are a very rich source of information for economic historians, and include detailed records about the amount of grain that was taxed by the church to every peasant in every town and village every year. This level of detail is extremely rare for early modern times, as most of the records in countries like England only kept the total amount of product taxed and not the distribution by producer. Every year after the harvest an official collector examined the amount of grain produced by every peasant and determined the 10% that had to be paid as tax. The collector was normally a neighbour of the village who therefore had local knowledge of the area he had to control. His salary was based on the amount of grain taxed, a fact that acted as an incentive to minimise the principal-agent problems between him and the ecclesiastical authorities (Alvarez Vazquez, 1984 :76). The Sinodal Constitutions of 1606 demanded that the tithe had to be paid from the total amount of grain produced, before extracting any sort of production costs or even the seeds required for the following harvest (Melon Jimenez, 1987:181). The grain was normally examined by the collector in the same field right after the harvest, and it could not be touched or moved by the peasant until the amount to be paid was determined. The grain taxed in every parish was usually kept in a specific building where the costs that included the salary of the collector were subtracted. The grain that remained was then distributed between the local priest, the bishop, and also civil authorities. The major beneficiary was the church, obtaining the shares for the local priest and the bishop, effectively taking the lion share of the amount collected. When all the tithes had been determined the priest wrote the tazmia book, a document where year after year he registered the names of all the producers and the amount taxed to each one. The original records for the year were given to the official collector, and a copy was sent to the archives of the bishop. Finally the priest included another copy of the tithes paid which were added to the books that he kept himself and that are now the manuscripts that we have used in our research. At the end of all the records in the book, the priest included a personal declaration stating that the details included were accurate and that all the producers had been included. The local priest of the village of Angon wrote in 1760: “I the licenciado Don Juan de Aleman local priest of the village of Angon certify that these tazmias are accurately executed according to what has been declared by the producers, and having published them nothing can be found against them.”4 The small average size of the villages in Guadalajara worked in favour of the ecclesiastical authorities and against the possibilities of cheating. The supervision costs were lower than in other areas of Spain like the south where vast agro towns dominated the landscape of the countryside. A good practice that was also imposed by the ecclesiastical authorities required that the priest had to make public the records reading them in a specific mass with the names and the tax paid by every peasant. This mechanism worked also as a defensive measure to prevent cheating, as any member of the community could easily make a complaint about the amounts paid by one of their peers. In the final declaration as showed in the case of Angon, the priest included a note stating if there had been any complain against the records presented by any member of the community. We could not find any final declaration with complaints in any year of our sample, a point that reinforces the reliability of the source. We included in our research the 22 municipalities whose records still survive in the archive for the period 1690–1800.5 The dataset obtained from the tazmia books includes more than 112,000 observations, extracted from the taxes paid by more than 14,000 producers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To create the dataset we extracted the tithes paid by all the producers in each one of the municipalities in the sample. The paper begins in 1690 as consequence of the lack of data available for previous years. The last year of our sample was chosen for historical reasons that affected the reliability of the source. It is generally accepted that cheating paying the tithe generalised with the political and social turmoil created by the Napoleonic invasion in the early nineteenth century.6 Therefore we chose 1800 as the last year of our sample to be sure that our estimation would be truly represent the evolution of production. Another key primary source that is used in the paper is the Catastro de la Ensenada, a survey ordered in 1749 that covers more than 15,000 towns and villages in the Crown of Castile. It was created to gather information for the establishment of a new taxation system, and therefore includes information about goods, prices, production, wages, etc. The Catastro is therefore a monumental work that includes extensive information about the Castilian society and economy. Every municipality had to answer to 40 questions giving information about its name, limits, houses, wealth, production, livestock, trade, manufactures as well as a long list of socioeconomic variables. The following map presents the provinces where the survey took place. The process to answer the questions was perfectly outlined in the governmental order published the 10th of October 1749. First the major of the village received a letter from the provincial authorities noting the date when the royal order would arrive as well as to make public the information that was attached to it. The second step was the election of a committee in the village that would be responsible to answer the 40 questions. They were chosen by the local council and included two or more experts on the criteria demanded by the order, like the different lands, products, population, etc. The third stage included the arrival of the external authority that had to carry out the questionnaire, with the help of a lawyer, a scrivener, and the experts that were necessary in every case. Then the local authorities with the committee chosen were called to an audience. The last step was the proper answer that the committee had to give to the questions that were annotated by the scrivener. All the members declaring took an oath with the local priest as witness. The methodology although systematic was long and not always satisfactory. Nevertheless even taking these problems into account, the Catastro is without a doubt the most important descriptive work of Castile of modern times. The survey started by asking the name of the village or town, its political status and its size, municipality and neighbouring settlements. From the 40 questions included in the survey, we can obtain information about economic and social variables for every village in Castile. For instance, question number 14 asked about the amount of food produced both in quantity and value. The exact content of the question was: “What is the normal value that every year the fruits have produced by the lands of the municipality, and what was their quality.” The answers to the questions were literal, for example, the authorities from the village of Benquerencia de la Serena answered the previous question by stating: “every fanega of wheat that is harvested in the village considering some years with others is sold in sixteen reales, the one of rye in eleven and the one of barley in eight …”7 The prices and all of the quantitative information included in the Catastro was not just specific for the year when the answers were given, but an average of several years that were normally the five previous to the interview. If that was not the case and the value given was the one for a single year, then the information could be affected by short term events and therefore would present methodological problems. Another important aspect to highlight is that the Catastro was carried out over several years, and that if the values given in the answers were the ones of a specific year, then the cross section comparisons could be misleading. Therefore the nature of the answer allows us to avoid these problems and therefore improves the reliability of the source. The dataset that we created from the Catastro includes variables like the size of the municipality, the number of peasants, shepherds, workers, aristocrats, wages, taxes paid, production of grain and wool prices, etc. The Catastro is used in this paper to estimate the percentage that grain production represented in total income and to study the socioeconomic characteristics of the locations included in our sample. The paper also includes original baptismal and burial series created for the province of Guadalajara that were extracted from the historical archive of Siguenza-Guadalajara.8 The yearly baptismal and burial series were combined to estimate the evolution of total population in Guadalajara, a variable that is used in the paper to estimate the evolution of labour force.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The use of information from grain tithes seems to be a reliable source to estimate the evolution of income in Guadalajara. The use of the source shows that the period 1770–1800 in the province is an age of decreasing inequality, when not only the number of grain producers increased, but also when the differences between them diminished. Taking the period 1690–1800 as benchmark we observe that against what is suggested by the literature in the case of Spain, the eighteenth century was a period when inequality was reduced in Guadalajara. The study of the Gini Coefficient and the distribution of grain producers, indicate that this convergence was characterised by a significant reduction in the number of very small and small producers. Small villages enjoyed low levels of income inequality during most of the century and therefore there was almost no room to catch up. However, in larger municipalities inequality levels were higher and there was still room to reduce the gap between big and small producers. A detailed analysis of changes in inequality shows that this was the case and that most of the reductions of income inequality were based on catching up of small producers in big villages. In a similar way the municipalities that did not have rural workers benefited from a larger decrease in inequality levels. On the other hand access to the major road network in Spain was not a significant force in the reduction of inequality. The second finding explains how the unexpected decrease in inequality took place. Small peasants were able to increase the size of their exploitations by having access to the privatisation of common lands promoted by the central government. Unlike the period 1740–1770, the availability of the new lands (normally pastures) made possible the absorption of new producers in better conditions. The redistribution of common lands allowed many small peasants to produce above subsistence level and therefore to take advantage of trade and high grain prices. The proportion of common lands was higher in larger villages, a situation that explains why the reduction in inequality was more intense in these sort of municipalities. The reform that failed in other parts of Spain was successful in Guadalajara thanks to the lack of bargaining power of pressure groups, a result of the unique characteristics of the population in Guadalajara. These characteristics combined the best features of the two models of agricultural production in Spain; the high proportion of producers (and lack of rural workers) of the north and the low pressure on natural resources of the south. Therefore, there was land to share and peasants able to fulfil the conditions imposed by the government to access it. In addition, the similar characteristics that existed between grain producers in Guadalajara reinforced the process. In other words and following Engerman and Sokoloff's arguments, the existence of an egalitarian society made possible the adoption of an economically successful reform.