“Settlers, Slaves, and Merchants” examines the role of migrants in the economic development of the Americas. Vast economic differences characterize the region: Bolivia languishes with a per capita income of $1,300 while Texas enjoys an income per person above $34,000 (in 1995 PPP dollars). Scholars have traced these differences to the colonial era hinting that human capital played a role in later economic development. This project will build a comprehensive database with immigrant flows from Spain and Africa to the Americas since the Conquest in 1492 until today. By tracking immigrant flows, we will estimate the human capital brought by voluntary and involuntary migrants and their migration networks in Spain and in the Americas.
Largely funded by the National Science Foundation, this project will provide access to this comprehensive database, supporting documentation, and relevant scholarship on migration flows within the Spanish empire.