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El Instituto patrocina el “Premio Figuerola", un generoso premio de 1.500 euros que se concede bianualmente al mejor artículo publicado en la European Review of Economic History, la revista de la European Historical Economic Society (EHES). La concesión se realiza durante el Congreso de la European Historical Economic Society.

Premio Figuerola 2023

Jason Lennart, ganador del premio Figuerola 2023

Department of Economic History, LSE

Sticky wages and the Great Depression: evidence from the United Kingdom
European Review of Economic History, 2023 issue2, vol 27, pp. 196-222

Resumen del artículo
How sticky were wages during the Great Depression? Although classic accounts emphasise the Importance of nominal rigidity in amplifying deflationary shocks, the evidence is limited. In this paper, I calculate the degree of nominal wage rigidity in the United Kingdom between the wars using new granular data covering millions of wages. I find that nominal wages changed infrequently but that wage cuts were more common than wage rises on average. Nominal wage adjustment fluctuated over time and by state, so that in 1931 amid falling output and prices more than one-third of workers received wage cuts.

Premio Figuerola 2022

Federico Tadei

University of Barcelona

Measuring extractive institutions: colonial trade and price gaps in French Africa
European Review of Economic History. 2020, issue 1, vol 24, pp. 1-23

Resumen del artículo
Colonial extractive institutions are often blamed for current African underdevelopment. Yet, since colonial extraction is hard to quantify, the magnitude of this phenomenon remains unclear. In this paper, I use new archival data to estimate colonial extraction through trade, measured as the gap between prices that the monopsonistic French trading companies paid to African producers and prices that should have been paid in a counterfactual competitive market. The results show that African prices were only a small fraction of competitive prices, implying an annual loss of almost 2 percent of GDP during colonial rule.

Premio Figuerola 2019

Fabian Wahl

University of Hohenheim

Political participation and economic development. Evidence from the rise of participative political institutions in the late medieval German Lands
European Review of Economic History. 2019, issue 2, vol 23, pp. 193-213

Resumen de artículo
Participative political institutions in late medieval cities in the German Lands had the potential to impact city size and growth. The study confirms the positive effect on economic outcomes of participative political institutions in 282 cities, but supports a more skeptical view of craft guilds. Craft guilds participating in the city council had zero or negative impact. Enfranchising citizens to elect the city government had a stable and robustly positive effect on city size and growth, but only during the medieval period. The effect of participatory institutions declines with age; they are prone to institutional degeneration and rent-seeking.

Premio Figuerola 2017

Fotografía del premiado

University of Lund, Sweden

Serfs and the city: market conditions, surplus extraction institutions, and urban growth in early modern Poland 
European Review of Economic History. 2016, número 2, volume 20, pp. 123–146.

Resumen del artículo
I investigate the relation between institutions, markets, and preindustrial economic growth. In particular, I analyze the impact of coercive agricultural class structures on urban population growth in Poland. My main point is that the impact of the demesne economy based on serfdom on urban growth was neither inherently negative nor positive. Instead, I suggest that the effect of serfdom depended on market conditions. I propose a new mechanism that explains how higher monetary and labor duties charged by landlords to their enserfed tenant farmers could have made urban settlements more resilient to a market crisis. I find empirical support for this idea with use of new database on urban settlements.

Premio Figuerola 2015

Fotografía del premiado


University of Oxford

The bondholder, the sovereign, and the banker: sovereign debt and bondholders' protection before 1914
European Review of Economic History. 2013, número 4, volumen 17. pp. 389-407.

Resumen del artículo

This paper studies the role of market-based solutions in the enforcement of sovereign debt contracts. A simple theoretical framework implies that there is scope for bondholders' committees to improve the governance of the market, as measured by the frequency and outcome of defaults. We test this hypothesis with an original data set of sovereign defaults, 1870–1913. This first period of financial globalization is an ideal test ground as it was immune to interventions by multilaterals, which can aggravate moral hazard problems during arrears. The empirical results confirm the potential relevance of bondholder's self-help organizations for ordered workouts of defaults.


Premio Figuerola 2013 - EX AEQUO

Fotografía del premiado

Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies (National Research Council), ISSM-CNR

When did England overtake Italy? Medieval and Early Modern Divergence in Prices and Wages
European Review of Economic History. 2013. nº 1, vol 17. pp. 45-70.

Resumen del artículo:
According to Allen, between 1500 and 1750, a “great divergence” among countries in the level of wages occurred in Europe. Italian real wages were already among the lowest in the late medieval and early modern age. Their relative level diminished even more from the seventeenth century. An analysis of prices and wages in Italy and England does not support this view. Actually, until the beginning of the eighteenth century, Italian real wages were either higher than in England (fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) or more or less equal (sixteenth and seventeenth). It was not until the eighteenth century that England began to overtake Italy. However, the disparity in wages before 1800 was modest. It increased fast from then onwards.

NINA BOBERG-FAZLIC, University of Copenhagen
PAUL SHARP, University of Southern Denmark
JACOB WEISDORF, University of Copenhagen

Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824
European Review of Economic History. 2011. nº3, vol. 15. pp. 365-392.

Resumen del artículo:
We use data collected by the Cambridge Group to investigate and explain differences in fertility by socio-economic group in pre-industrial England. We find, in line with results presented by Greg Clark, that wealthier groups did indeed have higher fertility until the 1700s. We demonstrate that this had to do with earlier age at marriage for women. We then turn to the likely social and economic impact of this, considering Clark's hypothesis that ‘middle-class values’ spread through English society prior to the Industrial Revolution. Through the construction of social mobility tables, we demonstrate that the children of the rich were indeed spreading through society, but they were small in number relative to poorer sections of society, and moreover the children of the poor were also entering the middle classes.

Premio Figuerola 2011

Fotografía del premiado


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid e Instituto Figuerola

"BARIOCH REVISITED. TARIFF STRUCTURE AND GROWTH IN LATE 19TH CENTURY" European Review of Economic History . 2010. nº1, vol 14. pp.111-141.

Disponible versión postprint
en nuestro E-Archivo

Resumen del artículo:

This article revisits Bairoch's hypothesis that in the late nineteenth century tariffs were positively associated with growth, as recently confirmed by a new generation of quantitative studies (see O'Rourke 2000; Jacks 2006; Clemens and Williamson 2002, 2004). This article highlights the importance of the structure of protection in the relation between trade policy and its potential growth-promoting impact. Evidence is based on a new database on industrial tariffs for the 1870s. The results show that income, factor endowment and policy independence are important for explaining regional asymmetries between tariffs and growth. At a global level, increased protection, measured by total and average tariffs on manufactures, implied more unskilled inefficient protection and less growth, and this is especially true for the poor countries in the late nineteenth century. Protection was only positive for a ‘rich club’ if we include in this group new settler countries, which grew rapidly in the late nineteenth century and imposed high tariffs mainly for fiscal reasons.


Premio Figuerola 2009

Fotografía de las premiadas


Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris 


Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris

"East India bonds, 1718–1763: early exotic derivatives and London market efficiency", European Review of Economic History, Volume 11, Issue 03, Dec 2007, pp 367-394

Resumen del artículo:

Were eighteenth-century financial markets efficient? Neal (1990) shows that the London and Amsterdam markets were integrated. Yet some scholars find that the London capital market was either not integrated across various classes of securities, or was comprised of ignorant investors who were not knowledgeable enough to arbitrage across securities with different maturities, or was even irrational at times. In this article, we demonstrate that these London capital market inefficiencies suggested by previous scholars arise from an incorrect comprehension of the pricing of the financial instrument they use. After examining certain features peculiar to India bonds overlooked by previous authors, we make it clear that the London domestic market was perfectly integrated and that investors were capable of handling and pricing sophisticated options.


Premio Figuerola 2007

Fotografía de los premiados

International Institute of Social History, 

Institute of History, Utrecht University

"Towards an economic interpretation of citizenship: The Dutch Republic between medieval communes and modern nation-states", European Review of Economic History, Volume 10, Issue 02, August 2006, pp 111-145

Resumen del artículo:

Citizenship was a key concept in European state formation from the Middle Ages onwards. This article presents an economic interpretation of citizenship. It argues that such contract increases the efficiency of the exchange between the state and the inhabitants. Next, the concept of citizenship is applied to the political economy of the Dutch Republic, wich was an "intermediate" stage in the process of state formation between the medieval commune (with a restricted form of citizenship) and the nation-state of the nineteenth century, when the concept became more inclusive, covering all inhabitants. The article briefly sketches the genesis of the Dutch Republic and identifies some of the key problems of its political economy.

Premio Figuerola 2005

Department of Economics 
University of Warwick

"Explaining Anglo-German productivity differences in services since 1870", European Review of Economic History, Volume 8, Issue 03, Dec 2004, pp 229-262

Resumen del artículo:

Germany overtook Britain in comparative productivity levels for the whole economy primarily as a result of trends in services rather than trends in industry. Britain's productivity lead in services before World War II reflected external economies of scale in a highly urbanised economy with an international orientation. Low productivity in Germany reflected the underdevelopment of services in an economy that was slow to move out of agriculture. As German agricultural employment contracted sharply from the 1950s, catching-up occurred in services. This was aided by a sharp increase in human and physical capital accumulation, underpinned by the institutional framework of the postwar settlement.

Premio Figuerola 2003

(ese año el premio fue compartido)


Department of Economics 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"The Golden Age of European growth reconsidered", European Review of Economic History, Volume 6, Issue 01, Apr 2002, pp 3-22

Resumen del artículo: 

I reconsider the growth of Western Europe during the Golden Age of European Economic Growth after the Second World War. The preceding thirty years of conflict and depression impeded the normal path of industrialisation in these countries, and they had too much labour in agriculture for their level of income and stage of development at the end of the war. The disequilibrium added to other more ordinary forces to produce unusually rapid economic growth. This hypothesis explains the speed of economic growth during the Golden Age, differences between growth rates in these years, and the end of this historical episode.


Department of Economics 
Rutgers University

"Making the French pay: The costs and consequences of the Napoleonic reparations", European Review of Economic History, Volume 5, Issue 03, Dec 2001, pp 337-365

Resumen del artículo:

Reparations as an instrument of international peace settlements were abandoned after the failure of Germany to pay its post-World War I indemnity. However, reparations played a useful role in the construction of earlier peace treaties. This article examines the payment of reparations by the French after the Napoleonic Wars. By most measures, these reparations were the largest ever fully paid; and they imposed a high cost on the economy in terms of lost output, consumption, and diminished capital stock. The incentives to pay were appropriately set and payment permitted France to be accepted once again as an equal among the great powers.