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Decomposing Economic Inequality in Early Modern Venice (ca. 1650-1800)

Author

Listed:
  • Edoardo Demo
  • Roberto Ricciuti
  • Mattia Viale

Abstract

This article analyses trends in economic inequalities in Venice between the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. Based on largely unpublished archive sources, changes in income and consumption inequalities have been studied, while the bootstrap method was used to determine if these changes are statistically significant. The households studied were divided into subgroups to better understand the dynamics between and within the different population components. We show that changes in consumption inequality are significant, whereas those relating to income inequality are not. We argue that this is due to the inability of the economy to generate wealth, whereas families were better able to face the major structural changes in the European economy in the last two centuries of the early modern period.

Suggested Citation

  • Edoardo Demo & Roberto Ricciuti & Mattia Viale, 2018. "Decomposing Economic Inequality in Early Modern Venice (ca. 1650-1800)," HHB Working Papers Series 12, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbu:wpaper:12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Guido Alfani, 2013. "Plague in seventeenth-century Europe and the decline of Italy: an epidemiological hypothesis," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 408-430, November.
    7. Hoffman, Philip T. & Jacks, David S. & Levin, Patricia A. & Lindert, Peter H., 2002. "Real Inequality In Europe Since 1500," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 322-355, June.
    8. van Zanden, Jan L., 1999. "Wages and the standard of living in Europe, 1500 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 175-197, August.
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    13. Fusaro,Maria, 2015. "Political Economies of Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107060524, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumption inequality; Early modern period; economic inequality; Little Divergence; Venice;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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