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Income Inequality And Population Density 1500 Ad: A Connection


  • Kevin Sylwester

    () (Department of Economics, Southern Illinois University)


Using a cross section of countries, this paper examines the association between regional population densities in 1500 AD and current income inequality. After controlling for other regional and historical factors, I find that past population density is negatively associated with income inequality today. Formerly high density regions are predicted to have lower income inequality. These findings support the view that higher density areas were better able to form more diverse and mobile societies that affected the long-run distribution of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Sylwester, 2003. "Income Inequality And Population Density 1500 Ad: A Connection," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 61-82, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jed:journl:v:28:y:2003:i:2:p:61-82

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    2. Roland Benabou, 1994. "Education, Income Distribution and Growth: The Local Connection," NBER Working Papers 4798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    4. Joshua Aizenman & Ricardo Hausmann, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Financial-Market Imperfections," NBER Working Papers 7738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ballinger, Clint, 2011. "Why Geographic Factors are Necessary in Development Studies," MPRA Paper 29750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Sylwester, Kevin, 2004. "A note on geography, institutions, and income inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 235-240, November.

    More about this item


    Income Inequality; Population Density;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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