State Intervention in Wine Markets in the Early 20th Century: Why was it so Different in France and Spain?

JORDI PLANAS

REVISITA DE HISTORIA ECONOMICA – JOURNAL OF IBERIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC HISTORY, Volume 35, Issue 2

Abstract: In the early 20th century, governments not only used trade policy to protect domestic agricultural markets, but they also introduced regulations affecting quality, quantity and prices. In this article I assess the differences in the state intervention in wine markets in two major wine-producing countries, France and Spain, and try to explain the reasons for them. To do so, I examine the specific features of their markets and productive systems, the winegrowers’ collective action, and the political framework in each country. I argue that the differences are related to (a) the strength and cohesion of the winegrowers’ lobby, (b) the winegrowers’ relationship with political parties and (c) the state’s ability to respond to their demands.