The so-called ‘Spanish miracle’, beginning in the mid-1990s, eventually became a nightmare for the majority of the population, culminating in the present-day economic and political crisis. This book explores the main features of the Spanish political-economic model during both the growth and crisis periods.

Analyzing the causes and consequences of the continuing economic crisis in Spain, this book delves into five analytical axes: the evolution of the growth model; the role of Spain in the international division of labor; the financial sector and its influence on the rest of the economy; changes in the labor market; and the distributional consequences of both the expansive phase and the later crisis. Furthermore, contributors examine the formation of a triangle of actors (the government sector, building sector, and financial capital) that shaped the Spanish growth model, together with the effects of Spain’s membership in the Economic and Monetary Union. Also considering ecological problems, gender issues, and the immigration question, this book challenges the alleged recovery of living conditions during recent years, as well as the explanation of the crisis as the result of irrational behaviors or the greedy nature of certain actors.

The Political Economy of Contemporary Spain provides a coherent explanation of the Spanish economic crisis based on a pluralistic approach, while proposing several measures that could contribute to a transformation of Spain’s economic and social models.

chapter |19 pages


The political economy of the Spanish growth model and its structural adjustment process
ByLuis Buendía, Ricardo Molero-Simarro

chapter 1|29 pages

The accumulation model of the Spanish economy

Profitability, the real estate bubble, and sectoral imbalances
ByJuan Pablo Mateo, Miguel Montanyà Revuelto

chapter 2|28 pages

Spain’s external insertion

Peripheral or not?
ByManuel Gracia, María José Paz

chapter 3|21 pages

The Spanish financial sector

Debt crisis and bailout
ByEduardo Garzón Espinosa, Bibiana Medialdea García, Antonio Sanabria Martín

chapter 4|26 pages

The Spanish labor market

On the path of flexibility and wage devaluation
ByMaría Eugenia Ruiz-Gálvez, Lucía Vicent Valverde

chapter 5|26 pages

The distributive pattern of the Spanish economy

The impact of adjustment on inequalities
ByLuis Buendía, Ricardo Molero-Simarro, F. Javier Murillo Arroyo

chapter 6|6 pages


Spain’s lost decade
ByLuis Buendía, Ricardo Molero-Simarro