Background and activities

Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia defended his PhD at the University of Oxford in 2014 and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge for three years (2014-2017). His thesis, which studied the enclosing of the commons in 19th-century Spain, was shortlisted for the Thirsk-Feinstein Prize by the Economic History Society and has been awarded best doctoral dissertation (2014-2016) by the Asociación Española de Historia Económica.


As well as continuing working on the management of collective resources, his current research interests include inequality, education, migrants selectivity, gender discrimination and agglomeration economies. He is also editor of the Scandinavian Economic History Review. Apart from his academic publications below, you can also find his blog posts on economic history in Nada es Gratis here (in Spanish).




HIKU8863: Quantitative Methods for Historians


HIST8872: Digital Mapping for the Humanities and the Social Sciences


HIST1505: Introduction to Historical Theory and Methods


Working Papers:


Sex ratios and missing girls in late-19th-century Europe


Class, education and social mobility: Madrid, 1880-1905 (with Santiago de Miguel Salanova).


The shadow of cities: size, location and the long-term spatial distribution of population in Spain (with Julio Martínez-Galarraga and Alfonso Díez-Minguela).


Two stories, one fate: Age-heaping and literacy in Spain, 1877-1930 (with Alfonso Díez-Minguela, Julio Martínez-Galarraga and Daniel Tirado-Fabregat).


Revisiting Allen's nitrogen hypothesis from a climate perspective (1645-1740) (with José Luis Martínez-González).


Communal hopes and land reform in rural Spain, 1931-1936 (with Iñaki Iriarte and José Miguel Lana).


List of Publications:


Capital humano y desiguald territorial. El proceso de alfabetización en los municipios espanoles desde la Ley Moyano hasta la Guerra Civil (Banco de Espana: Estudios de Historia Económica 74) (with Alfonso Díez-Minguela, Julio Martínez-Galarraga and Daniel Tirado-Fabregat).


What explains the missing girls in 19th-century Spain?Economic History Review (early view) (with Domingo Gallego-Martínez).


Inequality and education in pre-industrial economies: Evidence from Spain, Explorations in Economic History 69 (2018), pp. 81-101 (with Julio Martínez-Galarraga).


Tracing the Evolution of Agglomeration Economies: Spain, 1860-1991Journal of Economic History 78, 1 (2018), pp. 81-117 (with Alfonso Díez-Minguela and Julio Martínez-Galarraga).


En torno al comunal en Espana: Una agenda de investigación llena de retos y promesas, in D. Soto Fernández and J.M. Lana Berasáin (eds.), Del pasado al futuro como problema: La historia agraria contemporánea espanola en el siglo XXI (Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 2018: pp. 145-162) (link to the working paper).


Where are the missing girls? Gender discrimination in 19th century SpainExplorations in Economic History 66 (2017), pp. 117-126. (with Domingo Gallego-Martínez).


Migrants’ self-selection in the early stages of modern economic growth, Spain (1880–1930)Economic History Review 70, 1 (2017), pp. 101-121. (with Santiago de Miguel Salanova).


Common lands and economic development in SpainRevista de Historia Económica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 34, 1 (2016), pp. 111-133.


Commons and the standard of living debate in Spain, 1860-1930Cliometrica 9, 1 (2015), pp. 27-48.


"Goth and Vandals" or "Civilised" peasants? Common lands and agricultural productivity in Spain, 1900-1930Social Science History 39, 2 (2015), pp. 217-252.


Social and environmental filters to market incentives: Common land persistence in 19th century SpainJournal of Agrarian Change 15, 2 (2015), pp. 239-260.


Enclosing literacy? Common lands and human capital in Spain, 1860-1930Journal of Institutional Economics 9, 4 (2013), pp. 491-515.


Commons, Social Capital and the Emergence of Agricultural Cooperatives in Early 20th Century SpainEuropean Review of Economic History 16 (2012), pp. 511-528.