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

  • Branko Milanovic

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 640-680 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. Copyright � 2006 The Author; Journal compilation � International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2006.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 449-470

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:52:y:2006:i:3:p:449-470
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, 08.
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