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Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Germany, ca. 1300 – 1850

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  • , Stone Center

    (The Graduate Center/CUNY)

  • Alfani, Guido
  • Gierok, Victoria
  • Schaff, Felix

Abstract

This article provides an overview of economic inequality in Germany from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. It builds upon data produced by the German Historical School, which from the late nineteenth century pioneered inequality studies, and adds new archival information for selected areas. Inequality tended to grow during the early modern period, with an exception: the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), together with the 1627-29 plague, seem to have caused a temporary but significant phase of inequality reduction. This is in contrast to other European areas, from Italy to the Low Countries, where during 1500-1800 inequality growth was monotonic. Some evidence of a drop in inequality is also found after the Black Death of 1348-49. Our findings contribute to deepen and nuance our knowledge of long-term inequality trends in preindustrial Europe, and offer new material to current debates on the determinants of inequality change in western societies, past and present. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)

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  • , Stone Center & Alfani, Guido & Gierok, Victoria & Schaff, Felix, 2020. "Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Germany, ca. 1300 – 1850," SocArXiv 8qb7x, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:8qb7x
    DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/8qb7x
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    Cited by:

    1. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2020. "The Economic Impact of the Black Death," Working Papers 2020-14, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

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