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The sustainable debts of Philip II: A reconstruction of Castile's fiscal position, 1566-1596
Drelichman, Mauricio; Voth, Joachim
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
The defaults of Philip II have attained mythical status as the origin of sovereigndebt crises. We reassess the fiscal position of Habsburg Castile, derivingcomprehensive estimates of revenue, debt, and expenditure from new archivaldata. The king s debts were sustainable. Primary surpluses were large and rising.Debt-to-revenue ratios remained broadly unchanged during Philip s reign.Castilian finances in the sixteenth century compare favorably with those of otherearly modern fiscal states at the height of their imperial ambitions, includingBritain. The defaults of Philip II therefore reflected short-term liquidity crises,and were not a sign of unsustainable debts.
16-12-2008
Economic and Business History
debt sustainability
early modern economic history
philip ii
state borrowing
debt overhang
tax reform
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Documento de trabajo
         

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