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An Estimate Of Average Income And Inequality In Byzantium Around Year 1000

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  • Branko Milanovic

    (World Bank; Carnegie Endowment)

Abstract

Using recent economic statistics from the peak period of Byzantine political and economic influence, we estimate the average income around the year 1000 to have been about 6 nomismata per capita per annum. This is then translated into current prices using two independent methods. They both yield an estimate around $PPP 640-720 in 1990 international prices. It is argued that this amount is some 20 percent below an average estimate of Roman incomes at the time of Augustus (around year one). Assuming that most of income differences in Byzantium were due to the differences in average incomes between social classes, we estimate the Gini coefficient to have been in the range between 40 and 45.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/eh/papers/0501/0501003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Economic History with number 0501003.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0501003

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 37
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Lopez, Robert Sabatino, 1951. "The Dollar of the Middle Ages," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 209-234, June.
  2. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, 08.
  3. Chenny, Shirley & St-Amour, Pascal & Vencatachellum, Desire, 2003. "Slave prices from succession and bankruptcy sales in Mauritius, 1825-1827," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 419-442, October.
  4. Goldsmith, Raymond W, 1984. "An Estimate of the Size and Structure of the National Product of the Early Roman Empire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 263-88, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Milanovic,Branko & Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Measuring ancient inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4412, The World Bank.
  2. Bolt, Jutta & Hillbom, Ellen, 2013. "Social Structures and Income Distribution in Colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The Case of Bechuanaland Protectorate 1936-1964," Lund Papers in Economic History 130, Department of Economic History, Lund University.
  3. Chilosi, Alberto, 2010. "Poverty, Population, Inequality, and Development: the Historical Perspective," MPRA Paper 27761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2008. "The Malthus delusion," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 165-173, August.
  5. Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Global inequality and global inequality extraction ratio: The story of the last two centuries," MPRA Paper 16535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Global inequality and the global inequality extraction ratio: the story of the past two centuries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5044, The World Bank.
  7. Jørgen Modalsli, 2013. "Inequality and growth in the very long run: Inferring inequality from data on social groups," Discussion Papers 734, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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