IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/revinw/v30y1984i3p263-288.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Estimate Of The Size Anl Structure Of The National Product Of The Early Roman Empire

Author

Listed:
  • Raymond W. Goldsmith

Abstract

On the basis of rough estimates from the expenditure as well as from the income side, it is suggested that the national product per head of the Roman Empire at the death of Augustus (AD 14) was somewhat below 400 sesterces (31 g gold) yielding an aggregate national product of fully HS 20 billion for a population of 55 million and that these figures were approximately valid from the late first century BC to the mid‐second century AD. The share of government expenditures in national product was very low, probably not above five percent, and that of gross capital expenditures even lower, probably not in excess of two percent. An attempt is also made to appraise the concentration of personal income and it is estimated that the 600 senatorial families, representing approximately the top 0.04 per m of the population, received about 0.6 percent of total personal income while the share of the top three percent of income recipients was in the order of 20–25 percent of total personal incomes. The second part of the article compares these estimates as well as a few indicators of the standard of living and of welfare in the early Roman Empire with the corresponding figures for a few countries before the industrial revolution and for mid‐20th century less developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond W. Goldsmith, 1984. "An Estimate Of The Size Anl 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 263-288, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:30:y:1984:i:3:p:263-288
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.1984.tb00552.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4991.1984.tb00552.x
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Milanovic, Branko & Lindert, Peter & Williamson, Jeffrey, 2007. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," MPRA Paper 5388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. José Díaz & Rolf Lüders & Gert Wagner, "undated". "Economía Chilena 1810-1995: Evolución Cuantitativa del Producto Total y Sectorial," Documentos de Trabajo 186, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    3. Branko Milanovic, 2006. "An Estimate Of Average Income And Inequality In Byzantium Around Year 1000," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(3), pages 449-470, September.
    4. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "The Institution of Douglass North," MPRA Paper 21768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Milanovic, Branko, 2013. "The return of “patrimonial capitalism”: review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century," MPRA Paper 52384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Peter Temin, 2006. "The Economy of the Early Roman Empire," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 133-151, Winter.
    7. Milanovic, Branko, 2010. "Income level and income inequality in the Euro-Mediterranean region: from the Principate to the Islamic conquest," MPRA Paper 46640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Branko Milanovic, 2014. "The Return of "Patrimonial Capitalism": A Review of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 519-534, June.
    9. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "How Prosperous were the Romans? Evidence from Diocletian`s Price Edict (301 AD)," Economics Series Working Papers 363, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:30:y:1984:i:3:p:263-288. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iariwea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.