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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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  • COŞGEL, METIN M.
  • ERGENE, BOĞAÇ A.

Abstract

This article offers a quantitative analysis of wealth inequality in the Ottoman Empire, employing data from probate inventories ( tereke s) of eighteenth-century Kastamonu, a town located in northern Anatolia. Extracting information on 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 percent of estates. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Coşgel, Metin M. & Ergene, Boğaç A., 2012. "Inequality of Wealth in the Ottoman Empire: War, Weather, and Long-Term Trends in Eighteenth-Century Kastamonu," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 308-331, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:72:y:2012:i:02:p:308-331_00
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    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Luc Arrondel & Cyril Grange, 2006. "Transmission and inequality of wealth: An empirical study of wealth mobility from 1800 to 1938 in France," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(2), pages 209-232, August.
    3. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Thomas Piketty & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2006. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 236-256, March.
    6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    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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    1. repec:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0152-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N - Economic History

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