Income Inequality in Paris in the Heyday of the Commercial Revolution
Rising inequality in recent decades in the U.S. and other developed economies has again focused attention on the relationship between inequality and growth, and the relationship between inequality and heterogeneity in abilities. This paper is a preliminary report based on the analysis of data extracted from the tax returns (the taille) imposed by Philip the Fair from 1292 to 1313 on the Parisian middle class. The major finding reported in this paper is that inequality in Paris in the heyday of the Commercial Revolution was very high – a Gini coefficient of 0.7. The medieval Gini coefficient is larger than values recorded for Latin American. Inequality was general and was not confined to one sector or the other. As theory would predict, this inequality was reflected also in large skill and ability premiums and was higher in the high return occupations. Inequality was also very high in skilled occupations controlled by craft guilds such as weaving or construction. I also focus on the very wealthy and show that the elite were very socially mobile. Studying death rates of tax payers accounted for in the tax rolls, I find the death rate to be comparable with that 19th century Europe. The overall picture that emerges is that the Parisian economy of the late middle ages provided ample incentives for the acquisition of human capital and rewarded ability and skill, and in that respect was closer into the information age economy of today.
|Length:||45 pages JEL Classification:|
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +45 6550 2233
Fax: +45 6550 1090
Web page: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996.
"Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-82, June.
- Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility and Economic Growth," Papers 13-96, Tel Aviv.
- Ann L. Owen & David N. Weil, 1997.
"Intergenerational Earnings Mobility, Inequality, and Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
6070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Owen, Ann L. & Weil, David N., 1998. "Intergenerational earnings mobility, inequality and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 71-104, February.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000.
"Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, And Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497, May.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998. "Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
- Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
- Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1997.
"Growth, Distribution and Demography: Some Lessons from History,"
NBER Working Papers
6244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "Growth, Distribution, and Demography: Some Lessons from History," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 241-271, July.
- R. V. Jackson, 1994. "Inequality of incomes and lifespans in England since 1688," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(3), pages 508-524, 08.
- 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.
- Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_043. 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: (Jan Pedersen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.