IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/jechis/v75y2015i04p1058-1096_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economic Inequality in Northwestern Italy: A Long-Term View (Fourteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)

Author

Listed:
  • Alfani, Guido

Abstract

This article provides a picture of economic inequality in northwestern Italy (Piedmont), 1300–1800. Regional studies of this kind are rare, and none has as long a timescale. The new data proposed illuminate little-known aspects of wealth distribution and general economic inequality in preindustrial times, supporting the idea that during the Early Modern period, inequality grew everywhere, independently from whether the economy was growing or stagnating. This challenges earlier views that explained inequality growth as the consequence of economic development. The importance of demographic processes is underlined, and the impact of the Black Death and other mortality crises is analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfani, Guido, 2015. "Economic Inequality in Northwestern Italy: A Long-Term View (Fourteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1058-1096, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:75:y:2015:i:04:p:1058-1096_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0022050715001539/type/journal_article
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jord Hanus, 2013. "Real inequality in the early modern Low Countries: the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch, 1500–1660," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(3), pages 733-756, August.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:cai:poeine:pope_704_0559 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Samuel Cohn, 2007. "After the Black Death: labour legislation and attitudes towards labour in late‐medieval western Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(3), pages 457-485, August.
    5. Prados De La Escosura, Leandro, 2008. "Inequality, poverty and the Kuznets curve in Spain, 1850–2000," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 287-324, December.
    6. Guido Alfani, 2011. "Population Dynamics, Malthusian Crises and Boserupian Innovation in Pre-Industrial Societies: The Case Study of Northern Italy (ca. 1450-1800) in the Light of Lee’s "Dynamic Synthesis"," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 2, pages 23-56, April-Jun.
    7. Dobado González, Rafael & García Montero, Héctor, 2010. "Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some Reflections Based on New Empirical Evidence," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 253-277, September.
    8. Guido Alfani, 2013. "Plague in seventeenth-century Europe and the decline of Italy: an epidemiological hypothesis," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 408-430, November.
    9. Guido Alfani, 2010. "Climate, population and famine in Northern Italy: General tendencies and Malthusian crisis, ca. 1450-1800," Working Papers 027, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    10. J. L. Van Zanden, 1995. "Tracing the beginning of the Kuznets curve: western Europe during the early modern period," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(4), pages 643-664, November.
    11. Rossi, Nicola & Toniolo, Gianni & Vecchi, Giovanni, 2001. "Is The Kuznets Curve Still Alive? Evidence From Italian Household Budgets, 1881–1961," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 904-925, December.
    12. Francesco Ammannati & Davide De Franco & Matteo Di Tullio, 2014. "Misurare la diseguaglianza economica nell‚Äôet√† preindustriale: un confronto fra realt√† dell‚ÄôItalia centro-settentrionale," Working Papers 065, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Guido Alfani, 2017. "The rich in historical perspective: evidence for preindustrial Europe (ca. 1300–1800)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(3), pages 321-348, September.
    2. Guido Alfani & Francesco Ammannati, 2017. "Long‐term trends in economic inequality: the case of the Florentine state, c. 1300–1800," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1072-1102, November.
    3. Guido Alfani & Matteo Di Tullio, 2015. "Dinamiche di lungo periodo della disuguaglianza in Italia settentrionale: una nota di ricerca," Working Papers 071, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    4. Guido Alfani & Wouter Ryckbosch, 2015. "Was there a ‘Little Convergence’ in inequality? Italy and the Low Countries compared, ca. 1500-1800," Working Papers 557, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    5. Guido Alfani & Francesco Ammannati, 2014. "Economic inequality and poverty in the very long run: The case of the Florentine State," Working Papers 070, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    6. Alfani, Guido & Ryckbosch, Wouter, 2016. "Growing apart in early modern Europe? A comparison of inequality trends in Italy and the Low Countries, 1500–1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 143-153.
    7. Guido Alfani, 2020. "Epidemics, inequality and poverty in preindustrial and early industrial times," Working Papers 2020-16, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    8. Guido Alfani, 2015. "Famines in late Medieval and Early Modern Italy: A test for an advanced economy," Working Papers 082, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    9. Wouter Ryckbosch, 2014. "Economic inequality and growth before the industrial revolution: A case study of the Low Countries (14th-19th centuries)," Working Papers 067, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    10. Vincent Geloso & Peter Lindert, 2020. "Relative costs of living, for richer and poorer, 1688–1914," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(3), pages 417-442, September.
    11. van Bavel, Bas, 2016. "The Invisible Hand?: How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199608133.
    12. Esteban A. Nicolini & Fernando Ramos Palencia, 2016. "Comparing Income and Wealth Inequality in Pre-Industrial Economies: Lessons from 18th-Century Spain," Working Papers 0095, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    13. , Stone Center & Bleynat, Ingrid & Challú, Amílcar & Segal, Paul, 2020. "Inequality, Living Standards and Growth: Two Centuries of Economic Development in Mexico," SocArXiv 9ztb7, Center for Open Science.
    14. Guido Alfani & Marco Percoco, 2019. "Plague and long‐term development: the lasting effects of the 1629–30 epidemic on the Italian cities," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1175-1201, November.
    15. Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2014. "Urbanization and Growth: Why Did the Splendor of the Italian Cities in the Sixteenth Century not Lead to Transition?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5038, CESifo.
    16. Bleynat, Ingrid & Challú, Amílcar & Segal, Paul, 2020. "Inequality, living standards and growth: two centuries of economic development in Mexico," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105215, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Giacomo Gabbuti, 2020. "A Noi! Income Inequality and Italian Fascism: Evidence from Labour and Top Income Shares," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _177, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Edoardo Demo & Roberto Ricciuti & Mattia Viale, 2018. "Decomposing Economic Inequality in Early Modern Venice (ca. 1650-1800)," HHB Working Papers Series 12, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    19. , Stone Center & Alfani, Guido & Gierok, Victoria & Schaff, Felix, 2020. "Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Germany, ca. 1300 – 1850," SocArXiv 8qb7x, Center for Open Science.
    20. Fochesato, Mattia, 2018. "Origins of Europe’s north-south divide: Population changes, real wages and the ‘little divergence’ in early modern Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 91-131.

    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:cup:jechis:v:75:y:2015:i:04:p:1058-1096_00. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/jeh .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Keith Waters (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/jeh .

    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.