A new paper by VSE postdoctoral teaching fellow David González Agudo examines the evolution of prices in early modern Toledo, Spain. His research contributes to knowledge about the origins and timing of the divergence in living standards between Northwestern and Southern European economies.
Agudo presents a price index for the city of Toledo from 1521 to 1650, including items that have previously been unaccounted for in price indices from this time period, such as housing and other essential consumption items like construction materials, fuels, and manufactured products. In the city’s ‘golden age’ from 1550-1600, the growth rates of prices were higher than in London, Amsterdam or Antwerp, but slowed in the first half of the seventeenth century. The paper constructs three different consumption baskets over time to reflect the changing consumption patterns of Toledo’s low-income families.
“Prices in Toledo (Spain): Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries” was published in Social Science History, and can be read here.