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This paper is an attempt at assessing the economic impact of market-oriented reforms undertaken during General Franco's dictatorship, in particular the 1959 Stabilisation and Liberalisation Plan. Using an index of macroeconomic distortions, the relationship between economic policies and the growth record is examined. Although a gradual reduction in macroeconomic distortions was already in motion during the 1950s, the 1959 Plan opened the way to a new institutional design that favoured a free market allocation of resources and allowed Spain to accelerate growth and catch up with Western Europe. Without the 1950s reforms and, especially, the 1959 Plan, per capita GDP would have been significantly lower in 1975.