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Does Industrialisation Push Up Inequality? New Evidence on the Kuznets Curve from Nineteenth-Century Prussian Tax Statistics

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  • Oliver Wavell Grant

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Abstract

This paper presents new estimates of income inequality derived from Prussian tax statistics for the years 1822-1914. Confidence intervals are also calculated. The results show a rise in inequality in the nineteenth century, with a peak around 1906, thus supporting the view put forward by Simon Kuznets that industrialisation will initially lead to a rise in inequality. The paper goes on to consider whether this was due to factors which were particular to Germany in the period, or whether the Kuznets curve is the result of forces which affect all industrialising societies. The conclusion reached is that the Kuznets curve is an avoidable trap, not an automatic consequence of industrialisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Wavell Grant, 2002. "Does Industrialisation Push Up Inequality? New Evidence on the Kuznets Curve from Nineteenth-Century Prussian Tax Statistics," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _048, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_048
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2284/48grant.pdf
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    10. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Regina Grafe & Camilla Brautaset, 2006. "The Quiet Transport Revolution: Returns to Scale, Scope and Network Density in Norway`s Nineteenth-Century Sailing Fleet," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Guillaume Daudin, 2008. "Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late Eighteenth-Century France," Economics Series Working Papers 69, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. J.Humphries & T. Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the standard of living in early nineteenth-century England and Wales," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _066, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Educational Disparity in East and West Pakistan, 1947–71: Was East Pakistan Discriminated Against?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _063, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    5. Robert Dryburgh, 2003. "Individual, Illegal, and Unjust Purposes': Overseers, Incentives, and the Old Poor Law in Bolton, 1820-1837," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _050, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    6. repec:oxf:wpaper:69.2 is not listed on IDEAS

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