ACCOUNTING FOR GROWTH: SPAIN, 1850-2019 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2021

start page

  • 804

end page

  • 832


  • 3


  • 35

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0950-0804

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-6419


  • The current productivity slowdown has stimulated research on the causes of growth.We investigate here the proximate determinants of long-term growth in Spain. Over the last 170 years, output per hour worked raised nearly 24-fold dominating gross domestic product (GDP)growth, while hours worked per person shrank by one-fourth and population trebled. Half of labourproductivity growth resulted from capital deepening, one-third from total factor productivity (TFP)and labour quality contributed the rest. In phases of acceleration (the 1920s and 1954-1985), TFPwas labour productivity's main driver complemented by capital deepening. Since Spain's accession tothe European Union (1985), labour productivity has sharply decelerated as capital deepening sloweddown and TFP stagnated. Up to the Global Financial Crisis (2008) GDP growth mainly resulted froman increase in hours worked per person and, to a less extent, from sluggish labour productivity comingmostly from weak capital deepening. Institutional constraints help explain the labour productivityslowdown.


  • Economics


  • capital deepening; growth; labour productivity; labour quality; spain; total factor productivity