Land-use profiles of agrarian income and land ownership inequality in the province of Barcelona in mid-nineteenth century
According to the existing literature, when land remained the most abundant factor an increase in market integration is expected to lead to a greater inequality in wealth or income distribution. However, several case studies on the vineyard specialization experienced in Catalonia during the 18th and 19th centuries suggested another outcome: land ownership and agrarian income became less uneven, not the opposite. The outstanding interpretation posed by Catalan rural historians deserves to be confirmed or rejected by applying different inequality and polarization indices (Gini, Theil and top incomes), and innovative methods (inequality possible frontier and extraction ratios), to the big dataset we have been able to assemble with the information provided for every cadastral taxpayer of each municipality in the Distribution of Personal Wealth in Real Estate Ownership in the Province of Barcelona published in 1852 by the Official Gazette, combined with other population and land-use data listed in a Land-Use Statistics of the Province of Barcelona compiled in 1858. The results confirm that landownership and income inequality were lower in winegrowing municipalities than in cereal-cropping or forest ones, in spite of the fact that commercial specialization and higher population densities could have meant an extended frontier of possible inequality.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2011|
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