The Larios and the Industria Corchera. A case study of failed industrialization in Campo de Gibraltar


  • José Ignacio Jiménez Blanco Universidad Complutense de Madrid



Cork Industry, Entrepreneurial Failure, Spain, Campo de Gibraltar


This paper analyses a little known experience of failed industrialization in Campo de Gibraltar (Spain). It deals with the factory named Industria Corchera, probably the most important one of cork industry in Spain at the end of XIX century, which belonged to the Larios group, a very important Spanish family firm. The factory was raised up in a very propitious setting, either economic or geographic. It enjoyed enough basic inputs, like cork or coal, and productive factors like capital or labour. The technology was very modern, and the factory was placed near the Gibraltar harbour, a strategic scale on the sea routes between Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans, a very important feature for a factory which intended to export a high proportion of its production. However, the factory had a short life. This study rejects unsatisfactory explanations and proposes an alternative and provisional hypothesis with available evidences.