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Leandro Prados de la Escosura

Última actualización: 30/05/2018

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Leandro Prados-de-la-EscosuraD. Phil. (Oxford University) and Ph.D. (Universidad Complutense, Madrid), Professor of Economic History at Universidad Carlos III, Madrid. He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a Research Associate at the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE), and a Corresponding Fellow of Spain’s Royal Academy of History. He currently holds the Honorary Maddison Chair at the University of Groningen.

He has taught at Georgetown University (Prince of Asturias Professor) and the University of California, San Diego. He has been Leverhulme Professor at the London School of Economics and Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and the LSE, and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.

He served as President of the European Historical Economics Society [EHES] and as a Trustee of the Cliometric Society and EHES. He belonged to the Executive Committee of the International Economic History Association. He is currently an Editorial Board member of Cliometrica and Histoire Economique Quantitative and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Review of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, and the Scandinavian Economic History Review. He is a former editor of Revista de Historia Económica/ Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History.

He has contributed to the main journals in economic history and published and edited books on long-run growth and retardation in Spain, the economic consequences of Latin American independence, the costs and benefits of European imperialism, and British exceptionalism at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

He has been Principal Investigator at the University Carlos III of Madrid of the FP7 project of the European Commission and the CEPR "Historical Patterns of Development and Underdevelopment: Origins and Persistence of the Great Divergence".

His current research interests are economic freedom and wellbeing in historical perspective; growth, distribution, and welfare in Latin America since independence; and very long-run economic change and inequality in Spain.

Featured publications


Spanish Economic Growth, 1850-2015, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

Exceptionalism and Industrialisation: Britain and its European Rivals 1688-1815, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2004).


El progreso económico de España, 1850-2000 [The Economic Progress of Spain, 1850-2000], Bilbao, Fundación BBVA (2003).


De imperio a nación. Crecimiento y atraso económico en España (1780‑1930) [From Empire to Nation. Growth and Economic Backwardness in Spain (1780-1913)], Madrid, Alianza (1988)
Chapters of books

Capitalism and Human Welfare’, in L. Neal and J. G. Williamson (eds.), The Cambridge History of Capitalism, 2 vols. Vol. 2 The Spread of Capitalism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2014), pp. 501-529.

Trade and Empire” (with K.H. O’Rourke and G. Daudin), in S.N. Broadberry and K. H. O’Rourke (eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2010), vol. I, pp. 96-121.

When Did Latin America Fall Behind?’ in S. Edwards, G. Esquivel and G. Márquez (eds.) The Decline of Latin American Economies. Growth, Institutions, and Crisis, Chicago, University of Chicago/N.B.E.R. (2007), pp. 15-57

Inequality and Poverty in Latin America: A Long-Run Exploration’, in T. J. Hatton, K.H. O’Rourke and A.M. Taylor (eds.) The New Comparative Economic History, Cambridge, MA, M.I.T. (2007), pp. 291-315

The Economic Consequences of Independence’, in V. Bulmer-Thomas, J.H. Coatsworth and R. Cortés Conde (eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, New York, Cambridge University Press, (2006), vol. I, pp. 463-504.

Articles in scientific journals with peer evaluation

'Human Development as Positive Freedom: Latin America in Historical Perspective', Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 342-373, August

'The Napoleonic Wars: A Watershed in Spanish History?', Working Papers 0130, European Historical Economics Society (EHES) (with Carlos Santiago-Caballero)

'Spanish Agriculture in the Little Divergence', European Review of Economic History (with C. Álvarez-Nogal and C. Santiago-Caballero), doi:10.1093/ereh/hew011

Economic Freedom in the Long Run: Evidence from OECD Countries (1850-2007)’, Economic History Review 69 (2) (2016), 435-468. Database at

'World Human Development, 1870-2007', Review of Income and Wealth 61, 2 (2015), 220-247. Database at

The Rise and Fall of Spain, 1270-1850’ (with C. Álvarez-Nogal), Economic History Review 66, 1 (2013), 1-37.

Human Development as Positive Freedom: Latin America in Historical Perspective’, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 16, 3 (2015), 342-373. 

Human Development in Africa: A Long-run Perspective’ Explorations in Economic History 50, 2 (2013), 179-204.

Output per Head in Pre-Independence Africa: Quantitative Conjectures’, Economic History of Developing Regions 27, 2 (2012), 1-36.

Economic Reforms and Growth in Franco’s Spain’ (with J.R. Rosés and I. Sanz), Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 30, 1 (2012), 45-89.

Improving Human Development: A Long-run View’, Journal of Economic Surveys 24, 5 (2010), 841-894.

 ‘Human Capital and Economic Growth in Spain, 1850-2000’ (with J.R. Rosés), Explorations in Economic History 47, 4 (2010), 520-532.

 ‘Capital Accumulation in the Long-run: The Case of Spain, 1850-2000’ (with J.R. Rosés), Research in Economic History 27 (2010), 93-152.

 ‘Spain’s International Position, 1850-1913’, Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 28, 1 (2010), 1-43.

 ‘The Sources of Long-run Growth in Spain, 1850-2000’ (with J.R. Rosés), Journal of Economic History 69, 4 (2009), 1063-1091.

 ‘Lost Decades? Economic Performance in Post-Independence Latin America’, Journal of Latin American Studies 41, 2 (2009), 279-307

 ‘Contract Enforcement, Capital Accumulation, and Argentina's Long-Run Decline” (with I. Sanz-Villarroya), Cliometrica 3, 1 (2009), 1-26.

 ‘Inequality, Poverty, and the Kuznets Curve in Spain, 1850-2000’, European Review of Economic History 12, 3 (2008), 287-324.

 ‘The Decline of Spain (1500-1850): Conjectural Estimates’ (with C. Álvarez Nogal), European Review of Economic History 11, 3 (2007), 319-366.

 ‘European Patterns of Development in Historical Perspective’, Scandinavian Economic History Review 55, 3 (2007), 187-221.

 ‘International Comparisons of Real Product, 1820-1990: An Alternative Data Set’, Explorations in Economic History 37, 1 (2000), 1-41.

 ‘Balance Sheets for the Acquisition, Retention and Loss of European Empires Overseas’ (with P.K. O’Brien) Itinerario. European Journal of Overseas History XXIII, 3-4 (1999), 25-52.

 ‘Agricultural Productivity and European Industrialization, 1890-1980’ (with P.K. O'Brien), Economic History Review XLV, 3 (1992), 514-536.

 ‘Was Spain Different? Spanish Historical Backwardness Revisited’ (with C. Molinas), Explorations in Economic History 26, 2 (1989), 385 402

Working Papers

'Well-being Inequality in the Long Run' CEPR Discussion Papers 12920, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

'Foreign Capital in 19th Century Spain's Investment Boom', IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History. WH 26196, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.

'Spain’s Historical National Accounts: Expenditure and Output, 1850-2015', CEPR Discussion Paper 11524 (September 2016)


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