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Labor income inequality in pre-industrial Mediterranean Spain: The city of Murcia in the 18th century

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  • Espín-Sánchez, José-Antonio
  • Gil-Guirado, Salvador
  • Giraldo-Paez, W. Daniel
  • Vickers, Chris

Abstract

Information about the income distribution in pre-industrial societies is sparse. We analyze labor income inequality in 18th century Murcia, a city in Mediterranean Spain. The historical income distribution of this region is relatively unknown, despite it having on of the highest urbanization rates in Europe in the pre-industrial era. We first use a census conducted in the 1750s which collected information on income and occupation. We then use this income information to conduct analyses of the income distribution in the 1730s and 1780s using censuses with information about the occupational distribution. We find large changes in the distribution of occupations across the censuses. We show that our results on inequality are sensitive to assumptions regarding household composition and within-occupation distribution of income, but not to the definition of household income.

Suggested Citation

  • Espín-Sánchez, José-Antonio & Gil-Guirado, Salvador & Giraldo-Paez, W. Daniel & Vickers, Chris, 2019. "Labor income inequality in pre-industrial Mediterranean Spain: The city of Murcia in the 18th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:73:y:2019:i:c:1
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2019.05.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Income inequality; Spain; Murcia; Pre-industrial economies;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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