Professor Joan Roses

Professor Joan Roses

Professor in Economic History

Department of Economic History

+44 (0) 20 7955 6678
Room No
SAR 5.15
Office Hours
Thursday 10:00-12:00 Email for an appt
Catalan, English, Italian, Spanish
Key Expertise
Economic Geography; Economic History;Human Capital; Regional Inequality

About me

I am an economic historian of Modern and Contemporary Europe with interests in historical economic geography, long-run economic growth, well-being, and policy issues. I have edited and contributed to a book on the Economic Development of Europe's Regions (2018) in conjunction with Nikolaus Wolf (Humboldt). My research has been published in top international journals including Journal of Economic History, Economic History Review, World Development, Explorations in Economic History, European Review of Economic History, and Journal of Economic Surveys, among others. More recently, I have been working with Sergi Basco (UB) and Jordi Domenech (UC3M) on the 1918 Flu in Spain. 

Over the years, I have worked on multiple projects with different co-authors. My earliest research project was about Spanish industrialisation: I published papers on the determinants of unequal industrialisation, the role of human capital, technological change, and cotton firms’ innovations in market structure. In these years, I also wrote, jointly with Xavier Cuadras-Morató (UPF), an article on the monetary supply during industrialization process in Catalonia.

In the early 2000s, I start working on other three big topics related to Spanish economic history. My first project was about the role of factor markets in Spanish development before the Civil War. This research led to publications on the convergence of regional labour markets from 1850 to 1930 with Blanca Sanchez-Alonso (CEU), on the efficiency of land markets with Juan Carmona (UC3M), and the performance of housing markets with Juan Carmona and Markus Lampe (WU Vienna) during the first third of the 20th Century. Juan Carmona, Markus Lampe, and I also created a new database on factor prices (land and housing prices and wages) and real estate transactions for Spanish provinces from 1904 to 1934. A closely related research related to this work on Spanish markets is my article with Juan Carmona and James Simpson (UC3M) on the evolution of land access in Spain before the Civil war.  

A second strand of my research on Spain is my joint work with Leandro Prados de la Escosura (UC3M) on the sources of long-run Spanish growth from 1850 until today. We have published papers on productivity, human capital, and capital accumulation. One extension of this research is our paper with Isabel Sanz Villarroya (Zaragoza) on the role of institutional reforms on Franco’s economic growth. This project has generated a database on Spanish productivity and factors of production from 1850 until today.

My third big project on Spain, which has also led to several publications, is about the evolution and determinants of regional inequality with Julio Martinez-Galarraga and Daniel Tirado (both from Valencia). A new database of GDPs and GDPs per capita for all Spanish provinces from 1860 until today was an outcome of this project. Finally, outside Spanish economic history, I have been working on regional inequality in Europe with Nikolaus Wolf, in Sweden with Kerstin Enflo (Lund), in France with Teresa Sanchis (Valencia), and Canada with Chris Minns (LSE).

I did my first degree in History and Geography, specialization in Contemporary History, at the Universidad de Barcelona and my 2-year post graduate studies in Economic History at the Universitat de Barcelona and Autònoma de Barcelona. I obtained my PhD degree in History and Civilization at the European University Institute, before joining the Economic History Department of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 1998. I am professor at the Department of Economic History of the LSE since 2013. I am also editor of the European Review of Economic History and fellow of the CEPR and Instituto Figuerola.


EH308 Historical Economic Geography: Cities, Markets and Regions in the 19th and 20th Centuries

EH520 Approaches to Economic and Social History

Find Professor Roses at: Google Scholar | RePEc

You can view Professor Roses's CV here:  Professor Joan Roses's CV [PDF]


Expertise Details

Economic Geography; Economic Growth; Economic History; Housing; Human Capital; Regional Inequality

Selected publications

(with Nikolaus Wolf), eds. The Economic Development of Europe's Regions: A Quantitative History Since 1900, Routledge, 2018.

(with Leandro Prados de la Escosura), ‘Accounting for Growth in Spain, 1850-2019,’ Journal of Economic Surveys, forthcoming.

(with Sergi Basco and Jordi Domènech), ‘The redistributive effects of pandemics: evidence on the Spanish flu,’ World Development, Vol. 141 (2021), 105389.

(with Juan Carmona and James Simpson), ‘The question of land access and the Spanish Land Reform of 1932,’ Economic History Review, vol. 72, no. 2 (2019), pp. 669-690.

(with Juan Carmona and Markus Lampe), ‘Housing affordability during the urban transition in Spain,’ Economic History Review, vol. 70, no. 2 (2017), pp. 632–658.

(with Kerstin Enflo), ‘Coping with Regional Inequality in Sweden: Structural Change, Migrations and Policy, 1860-2000,’ Economic History Review, vol. 68, no. 1 (2015), pp. 191-217.

(with Julio Martinez-Galarraga and Daniel A. Tirado), ‘The upswing of regional income inequality in Spain (1860-1930)’, Explorations in Economic History, vol. 47, no. 2 (2010), pp. 244-257

‘Why Isn’t the Whole of Spain Industrialized? New Economic Geography and Early Industrialization, 1797-1910’, Journal of Economic History, vol 63, no. 4 (2003), pp. 995-1022.