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Measuring Inequality Trends In Colonial Australia Using Factor-Price Ratios: The Importance Of Boundaries

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  • MartinP. Shanahan
  • JohnK. Wilson

Abstract

Previous research on nineteenth century globalisation argues that during the second half of that century wage-rental ratios in labour scarce, land-abundant new world economies decreased. This suggests inequality rose in the new world. Australia has been cited as a conspicuous example of this trend. The paper re-examines this argument using disaggregated land and wage data for four Australian colonies. We reveal large regional differences in both factor-price levels and trends - something that has been overlooked when discussing Australian colonial inequality and we suggest that regional disparities in other nineteenth century economies are also likely to be important. Copyright 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • MartinP. Shanahan & JohnK. Wilson, 2007. "Measuring Inequality Trends In Colonial Australia Using Factor-Price Ratios: The Importance Of Boundaries," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 47(1), pages 6-21, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:47:y:2007:i:1:p:6-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
    2. Henry Willebald, 2013. "Distributive patterns in settler economies: agrarian income inequality during the first globalization (1870-1913)," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 13-05, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    3. Ferrie, Joseph & Hatton, Timothy J., 2013. "Two Centuries of International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jorge Álvarez, 2013. "The evolution of inequality in Australasia and the River Plate, 1870-1914," Documentos de trabajo 31, Programa de Historia Económica, FCS, Udelar.
    5. Henry Willebald, 2015. "Distributive patterns in settler economies: agricultural income inequality during the First Globalization (1870-1913)," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 66, pages 75-104, august.

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