Person: Ramos Palencia, Fernando
Profesor/a Titular de Universidad
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Economía, Métodos Cuantitativos e Historia Económica
Historia e Instituciones Económicas
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PublicationThe role of human capital in pre-industrial societies: Skills and earnings in eighteenth-century Castile (Spain)(2016-07) Álvarez, Begoña; Ramos Palencia, FernandoUsing the Ensenada Cadastre, a unique database on Castilian households circa 1750, we measure the effect of human capital on the structure of male labor earnings. Human capital is proxied by individual indicators of basic skills (literacy and numeracy) and of occupational skills. We employ a Mincerian regression approach and find that, on average, workers with greater skills earned more than otherwise similar workers with lesser skills. This finding is robust to the inclusion of additional controls for age, household composition, job characteristics, and place of residence. Estimated returns were larger for urban than for rural workers and were strongly heterogeneous across activity sectors. The richness of our data set reveals that higher-skilled workers not only reaped positive rewards in their main jobs but also were more likely to diversify and increase their earnings through ¿by-employment¿. However, not all workers benefited to the same degree from increased human capital. Quantile regression analysis shows that earnings disparities between workers with different skills were much smaller at the lower than at the upper end of the earnings distribution. This evidence indicates that, in pre-industrial Castile, human capital contributed to earnings (and income) inequality. PublicationComparing Income and Wealth Inequality in Pre-Industrial economies. Lessons from Spain in the 18th century(2016-05) Nicolini, Esteban; Ramos Palencia, FernandoResearch on the history of inequality in pre-industrial economies has focused mainly on either wealth or income inequality. The most common problem with wealth inequality is the lack information about the bottom of the distribution while the main problem with income inequality is the lack of data to characterize the top of the distribution. Given that in general these approaches are based in different kinds of sources and methodologies, the results are not easy to compare and the links between the two distributions are difficult to establish. In this paper we use a unique data set for different regions of Spain circa 1750 and present results (the first for any pre-20th century economy) of inequality of both income and wealth for the same sample of households. Information of wealth comes from probate inventories while information of income comes from the Ensenada Cadastre. The main results of the paper are that poor households are not completely absent from our data set of inventories, that the position of a household in the distribution of income is closely associated to its position in the distribution of wealth and that an increase of a household¿s wealth is associated to a less-than-proportional increase in the household¿s income.