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Inequality of Wealth in the Ottoman Empire: War, Weather, and Long-term Trends in Eighteenth Century Kastamonu

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  • Metin M. Cosgel

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Bogac A. Ergene

    (University of Vermont)

Abstract

This article offers a quantitative analysis of wealth inequality in the Ottoman Empire, employing data from probate inventories (terekes) of eighteenth-century Kastamonu, a town located in northern Anatolia. Extracting information on the wealth levels and personal characteristics of individuals, we estimate aggregate measures of wealth inequality, namely the Gini Coefficient, the coefficient of variation, and the wealth shares of the wealthiest 10 and 25 percents of population. We use regression analysis to identify the time trend of wealth inequality and determine how warfare, significant weather events, macroeconomic variables, and shifts in population characteristics affected it. JEL Classification: D3, D6, E3, E6, I3, J1, N3, N9, O53 Key words: Wealth, Inequality, War, Weather, Ottoman Empire

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2011-29.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-29

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  1. Thomas Piketty & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2005. "Wealth concentration in a developing economy : Paris and France, 1807-1994," Research Unit Working Papers 0504, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stefania Albanesi, . "Inflation and Inequality," Working Papers 199, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  6. Luc Arrondel & Cyril Grange, 2006. "Transmission and inequality of wealth: An empirical study of wealth mobility from 1800 to 1938 in France," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 209-232, August.
  7. Hoffman, Philip T. & Jacks, David S. & Levin, Patricia A. & Lindert, Peter H., 2002. "Real Inequality In Europe Since 1500," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 322-355, June.
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