Module: Elective Character: Elective ects credits: Attending: Non-attending: Duration

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Study Plan 2009

Academic course: 2009/2010
Course title: Economic History of Hispanic America: From Conquest to Globalization


Subject: Economic History and Economic Development

Module: Elective

Character: Elective

ECTS Credits:



Duration: One semester

Semester/s: Fall-winter

Language: ENGLISH.

Coordinator: Rafael Dobado González, Department of Economic History and Institutions II, School of Economics and Business Administration, Campus de Somosaguas,
Instructor: Rafael Dobado González, Department of Economic History and Institutions II, School of Economics and Business Administration, Campus de Somosaguas,
Short descriptor: This course offers an introductory knowledge of the economic history of Hispanic America from late 15th to early 21st centuries. Emphasis is given to highlight the connections between past and present economic facts. Some possible explanations of contemporary problems of development in Hispanic America (slow growth and high inequality) are examined (geography, culture, colonialism, policy mistakes, etc.).
Pre-requisites: Some previous interest and information on Hispanic America geography, history, politics, and, especially, economy. Appropriate English level is required.

Besides providing the student with an introductory knowledge of the peculiar economic history of Hispanic America from Pre-Columbian time to present, other objectives of the course consist of improving their skills in these particular fields:

  1. Technical reading and writing on Hispanic American economic history in English.

  2. Public presentations and discussions of relevant issues in English.

  3. Access to reliable sources in the Internet on Hispanic American economic history and economy.

  4. Elementary Statistics.


General: Capacity of analysis and synthesis applied to economic issues.

Transversal: Economic information search ability. Communication skills.
Specific: Understanding of the historical roots of the main features of contemporary Hispanic America economy.


  • Hispanic America today: Facts and figures (level of development, growth rates, inequality, corruption, etc.). Does Hispanic America exist in economic terms?

  • Some popular explanations to Hispanic American economic problems: culture, factor endowments, colonialism, etc. A criticism.

  • American economy before Columbus in comparative perspective.

  • The economic consequences of Conquest. The colonial economy.

  • The independence and its aftermath.

  • The export-led growth model. Hispanic America during the first globalization.

  • The inter-war period.

  • The inward-looking model of growth.

  • Crisis and reorientation of the Hispanic-American economy.

  • A final view.

Teaching activities:

Lectures: 45%


Practical Classes: 10%

Tutorials: 15%

Evaluation activities: 20%

Presentations: 10%

Elaboration of works:

Private study hours:

TOTAL: 100%

Continuous attendance to and active participation in classes is required. Student should read in advanced the suggested bibliography for every issue which will be dealt with in the lecturers by the professor. Final Grade: Attendance to and participation in classes, 50 %; presentations and papers, 50%.

BAKEWELL, P. J. (2004), A history of Latin America : c. 1450 to the present, Blackwell, Malden, MA, 2nd edition.

BULMER-THOMAS, V. (2003), The Economic History of Latin America since Independence, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2nd edition.

BULMER-THOMAS, V., COATSWORTH, J. H. and CORTÉS CONDE, R. (eds.) (2006), Cambridge Economic History of Latin America [CEHLA], Cambridge University Press, New York , 2 vols.

GALLUP, J. L., GAVIRIA, A. and LORA, E. (2003), Is geography destiny?: Lessons from Latin America, World Bank, Washington.

MADDISON, A. (2001), The World Economy : a Millennial Perspective, OCDE, Paris.

-- (2003), The world economy : historical statistics, OCDE, Paris.

Other important information: This course in intended for students with a genuine motivation and willingness to learn about Hispanic American economic history.

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