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I am Professor of Socio-Economic History at the University of Oviedo (Spain). I started my career as a Ph.D. student of Economics at the University of Cantabria and soon moved to the University of Zaragoza, where I would stay for almost twenty years, to become an assistant professor (and later associate professor) of socio-economic history. I have held visting positions at the universities of the Italian Switzerland and Lund (Sweden).​
My research is about food consumption in affluent societies, rural depopulation and development, the European Union's agricultural policy, and economic thought on consumer society. I have a particular interest in applying a long-term perspective to the study of current socioeconomic problems. I use the approach of historical political economy, in the tradition of (among others) Joseph Schumpeter, Thorstein Veblen, Fernand Braudel and Paul Bairoch.​My outreach activities include the direction of Todo comenzó ayer (Everything started yesterday), the bi-weekly podcast that I created for the Spanish Association of Economic History.



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In the last half century or so, as the Mediterranean diet has become a global icon of nutritional health, Spanish consumers have tended to move away from it. Why this paradox? My ongoing research reconstructs from this angle the political economy of the consumption of milk and dairy products in Spain since 1950. This is a story of two systems of consumption: the first of them (until around 1990) gravitated around milk and the second around more complex dairy products. The first system has been more effective as a carrier of well-being than the second one.


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Are affluent societies doomed to see their rural areas decline? What are the best policies in order to promote the development of rural communities? My research approaches these questions through a historical analysis of rural depopulation in Spain and other parts of Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. Among other things, my conclusions highlight the importance of the rural non-farm sector for the economic and demographic trajectory of rural areas.



What is the balance of the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy more than half a century after its birth? My research questions both the liberal standpoint that sees the CAP as a source of major inefficiencies and costs, and the EU's discourse that the CAP illustrates the virtues of European-style coordinated capitalism. What we find instead is low-quality coordination, as well as a network of agri-politicians who are not primarily oriented towards general interests.



Economists have held rival views of consumer society. While most mainstream economists have been positive about it as a marker of well-being and progress, a heterodox tradition has warned about consumer manipulation and a misdirected economy. Underlying this clash, which has been going on for decades now, we can perceive a parallel debate: what does it mean to be an economist?

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