IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/don/donwpa/070.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic inequality and poverty in the very long run: The case of the Florentine State

Author

Listed:
  • Guido Alfani
  • Francesco Ammannati

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of economic inequality in the Florentine State (Tuscany) from the late fourteenth to the late eighteenth century. Regional studies of this kind are rare, and this is only the second-ever attempt at covering such a long period. Consistent with recent research conducted on other European areas, during the Early Modern period we find clear indications of a tendency for economic inequality to grow continually, a finding that for Tuscany cannot be explained as the consequence of economic growth. Furthermore, the exceptionally old sources we use allow us to demonstrate that a phase of declining inequality, lasting about one century, was triggered by the Black Death from 1348 to 1349. This finding challenges earlier scholarship and significantly alters our understanding of the economic consequences of the Black Death. We also take into account other important topics, such as the change over time of the patrimony of the Church and of poverty. Particular attention is paid to the latter, and estimates of the prevalence of the poor in time and space are provided and discussed, also taking into account the definition and perception of the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:070
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP070.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Santiago-Caballero, Carlos, 2011. "Income inequality in central Spain, 1690-1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 83-96, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Esteban Nicolini & Fernando Ramos Palencia, 2016. "Comparing Income and Wealth Inequality in Pre-Industrial economies. Lessons from Spain in the 18th century," Working Papers 16.01, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History.
    5. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    6. Guido Alfani, 2013. "Plague in seventeenth-century Europe and the decline of Italy: an epidemiological hypothesis," European Review of Economic History, European Historical Economics Society, vol. 17(4), pages 408-430, November.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    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. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," NBER Working Papers 14766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Guido Alfani & Elena Roberta Frigeni, 2013. "Inequality (un)perceived: The emergence of a discourse on economic inequality from the Middle Ages to the Age of Revolutions," Working Papers 058, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    13. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2009. "History without evidence: Latin American inequality since 1491," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 81, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Black Death

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wouter Ryckbosch, 2016. "Editor's choice Economic inequality and growth before the industrial revolution: the case of the Low Countries (fourteenth to nineteenth centuries)," European Review of Economic History, European Historical Economics Society, vol. 20(1), pages 1-22.
    2. 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.
    3. Nikolaj Malinowski & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2015. "National income and its distribution in preindustrial Poland in a global perspective," Working Papers 0076, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Mikołaj Malinowski & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2017. "Income and its distribution in preindustrial Poland," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(3), pages 375-404, September.
    7. van Bavel, Bas, 2016. "The Invisible Hand?: How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199608133.
    8. 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.
    9. Milanovic, Branko, 2016. "Towards an explanation of inequality in pre-modern societies:the role of colonies and high population density," MPRA Paper 74877, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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 & 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Jaime Reis, 2017. "Deviant behaviour? Inequality in Portugal 1565–1770," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(3), pages 297-319, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Guido Alfani, 2022. "Epidemics, Inequality, and Poverty in Preindustrial and Early Industrial Times," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 3-40, March.
    9. Alfani, Guido & Gierok, Victoria & Schaff, Felix, 2022. "Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Germany, ca. 1300–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 87-125, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Alfani, Guido & Di Tullio, M & Fochesato, M, 2020. "The determinants of wealth inequality in the Republic of Venice (1400-1800)," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 483, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. 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.
    13. Julio Martinez-Galarraga & Marc Prat, 2022. "Pre-industrial inequality in Catalonia," UB School of Economics Working Papers 2022/430, University of Barcelona School of Economics.
    14. Esteban A. Nicolini & Fernando Ramos Palencia, 2016. "Decomposing income inequality in a backward pre-industrial economy: Old Castile (Spain) in the middle of the eighteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 747-772, August.
    15. Guido Alfani & Elena Roberta Frigeni, 2013. "Inequality (un)perceived: The emergence of a discourse on economic inequality from the Middle Ages to the Age of Revolutions," Working Papers 058, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    16. 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.
    17. 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).
    18. Fernández, Eva & Santiago Caballero, Carlos, 2018. "Economic inequality in Madrid, 1500-1840," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 27072, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    19. 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.
    20. Guido Alfani & Hector García Montero, 2022. "Wealth inequality in pre‐industrial England: A long‐term view (late thirteenth to sixteenth centuries)," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1314-1348, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic inequality; social inequality; wealth concentration; middle ages; early modern period; Tuscany; Florentine State; Italy; plague; Black Death; Church property; poverty; Florence; Prato; Arezzo; San Gimignano;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:don:donwpa:070. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: Amy Johnson (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.dondena.unibocconi.it/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.