CfP: Sources and methods for the study of economic inequality in preindustrial societies: The Iberian Peninsula (1300-1600)

Call for papers, deadline 30 September 2020

During the last years we have witnessed a renewed interest in wealth distribution and inequality in pre-industrial societies. The economic crisis and the subsequent rise in social differences that has occurred over the last decades has been one of the main reasons why historians and economists have retaken the analysis of this phenomenon. Due to the richness of the preserved documentary sources in the Iberian Peninsula, the study of inequality and its origins has been studied also in the medieval period, being tax sources particularly useful.

In this context, this course aims to contribute to a better training of young researchers, both historians and economists, who are interested in this topic. For this purpose, scholars from various disciplines will be gathered so as to show the huge potential of the sources preserved in Iberian archives, as well as to teach suitable statistic methods for this purpose. From a historical viewpoint, we are interested in exploring the reach and limits of the first tax registries where wealth estimates were included to cover the needs of urban communities. We will also give attention to the important possibilities provided by other type of documents (e.g. notarial, ecclesiastical ones). From an economic perspective, we will consider particularly useful the introduction of measuring methods of inequality, such as Gini coefficients, Lorenz Curves, and so on. Other analytic tools will also be taught, as well as their particularities to approach historical societies.

From 2 to 4 December 2020 the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (seat of Valencia) in collaboration with Fundación CSIC (Formavanz program) will organize a short course on ‘Sources and Methods for the Study of Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Societies: the Iberian Peninsula (1300-1600)’. This activity will have a duration of 21 hours, and it provides 0.5 ECTS credits.

The course is organized around three daily sessions, in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, well-known scholars in this field will be in charge of introducing several questions as to economic inequalities. Session 1 will be focused on documentary sources, while Session 2 on methods, and Session 3 on case studies. Afternoon sessions will be open to the participation of PhD candidates and recent doctors in economic history or general history who wish to present their ongoing doctoral research for discussion with the rest of the participants.

Submission Guidelines

PhD candidates and recent doctors interested in participating should send a formal proposal to

by 30 September 2020

This should include:

  • Short CV with contact details (1,000 characters max.)
  • A summary of the proposal, with an incidence on the sources of analysis and the chronological and geographical scope (2,000 characters max.)

The scientific committee will select 15 proposals. The selected candidates will present their papers in 20 minutes. The scientific committee will announce the selected candidates by 15 October 2020.

The matriculation fee is set at 85€, and it gives the right for an official certificate of participation and the recognition of 0.5 ECTS credits. A reduction in the fee might be applied by the UIMP for selected candidates who fulfill some particular conditions. The Sociedad Española de Estudios Medievales (SEEM) will offer up to two grants of 150€ for members of the association under 30 years old.

This course is supported by the research projects Growth without development? Wealth distribution, social mobility and political action in Mediterranean Europe, 13th-15thcenturies (PGC2018-099275) and Economic inequality in Catalan and Majorcan towns in the Later Middle Ages (PGC2018-100979-B-C22). These projects are developed by the research groups CiSEM (Cultures and Societies of the Middle Ages), Refiscat (Feudal rent and taxation in late medieval Catalonia) and the Arca Comunis network for the history of Hispanic taxation.


  • Luis Almenar (Universitat de València)
  • Esther Tello (Universitat de València)
  • Pere Verdés (IMF-CSIC. Barcelona)

Scientific Committee

  • David Carvajal de la Vega (Universidad de Valladolid)
  • Antoni Furio (Universitat de València)
  • Ángel Galán (Universidad de Málaga)
  • Pere Orti (Universitat de Girona)
  • Lluís To (Universitat de Girona)


Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo. Academic Activities