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

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  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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