Big business in Spain (191 7-1974). A first approach


  • Albert Carreras
  • Xavier Tafunell



In this article we analyze the evolution of big firms in Spain over the greater part of the twentieth century. This has been done at three distinct levels taking into account hierarchy, structure and relative size. The main objective of the study is to show which were the biggest Spanish firms in the period mentioned. Particular attention has been given to the high degree at turnover which took place at the upper echelons of the business ladder, which reflects a strong state intervention. Public intervention, linked to the structural transformations of the Spanish economy, have also caused profound changes in the sectoral composition of large companies. In the case of the principal industrial firms, sectoral specialization tended to correspond to comparative advantage up to the Civil War. This gave the most important firms a considerable size in international terms. Subsequently, the large Spanish firms became smaller with respect to their counterparts.


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