IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpeh/0501003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Estimate Of Average Income And Inequality In Byzantium Around Year 1000

Author

Listed:
  • Branko Milanovic

    (World Bank; Carnegie Endowment)

Abstract

Using recent economic statistics from the peak period of Byzantine political and economic influence, we estimate the average income around the year 1000 to have been about 6 nomismata per capita per annum. This is then translated into current prices using two independent methods. They both yield an estimate around $PPP 640-720 in 1990 international prices. It is argued that this amount is some 20 percent below an average estimate of Roman incomes at the time of Augustus (around year one). Assuming that most of income differences in Byzantium were due to the differences in average incomes between social classes, we estimate the Gini coefficient to have been in the range between 40 and 45.

Suggested Citation

  • Branko Milanovic, 2005. "An Estimate Of Average Income And Inequality In Byzantium Around Year 1000," Economic History 0501003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0501003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 37
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/eh/papers/0501/0501003.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lopez, Robert Sabatino, 1951. "The Dollar of the Middle Ages1," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 209-234, July.
    2. Raymond W. Goldsmith, 1984. "An Estimate Of The Size Anl Structure Of The National Product Of The Early Roman Empire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 263-288, September.
    3. Chenny, Shirley & St-Amour, Pascal & Vencatachellum, Desire, 2003. "Slave prices from succession and bankruptcy sales in Mauritius, 1825-1827," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 419-442, October.
    4. Robert C. Allen, 2003. "Progress and poverty in early modern Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(3), pages 403-443, August.
    5. Goldsmith, Raymond W, 1984. "An Estimate of the Size and Structure of the National Product of the Early Roman Empire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(3), pages 263-288, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Bolt, Jutta & Hillbom, Ellen, 2013. "Social Structures and Income Distribution in Colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The Case of Bechuanaland Protectorate 1936-1964," Lund Papers in Economic History 130, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    2. Guido Alfani & Federico Tadei, 2017. "Income Inequality in Colonial Africa: Building Social Tables for Pre-Independence Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, and Senegal," Working Papers 594, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Serrano, Joaquín & Benzaquén, Ivana, 2017. "La frontera de posibilidades de desigualdad en América Latina," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(334), pages .427-461, abril-jun.
    4. María Gómez-León, 2015. "The Rise of the Middle Class, Brazil (1839-1950)," Working Papers 0091, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Modalsli, Jørgen, 2011. "Inequality and growth in the very long run: inferring inequality from data on social groups," Memorandum 11/2011, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Milanovic, Branko & Lindert, Peter & Williamson, Jeffrey, 2007. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," MPRA Paper 5388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Jutta Bolt & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2014. "The Maddison Project: collaborative research on historical national accounts," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 627-651, August.
    9. Marco, I. & Padró, R. & Tello, E., 2020. "Dialogues on nature, class and gender: Revisiting socio-ecological reproduction in past organic advanced agriculture (Sentmenat, Catalonia, 1850)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    10. 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.
    11. Lambert, Thomas, 2021. "Byzantine Economic Growth: Did Climate Change Play a Role?," MPRA Paper 107898, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Alberto Chilosi, 2010. "Poverty, Population, Inequality, and Development: the Historical Perspective," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 7(2), pages 469-501, December.
    13. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2008. "The Malthus delusion," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 165-173, August.
    14. Jørgen Modalsli, 2015. "Inequality in the very long run: inferring inequality from data on social groups," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(2), pages 225-247, June.
    15. Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Global inequality and the global inequality extraction ratio: the story of the past two centuries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5044, The World Bank.
    16. Gómez León, María, 2015. "The rise of the middle class : Brazil (1839-1950)," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp15-09, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    17. Milanovic, Branko, 2011. "A short history of global inequality: The past two centuries," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 494-506.

    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. Branko Milanovic, 2014. "The Return of "Patrimonial Capitalism": A Review of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 519-534, June.
    2. Milanovic,Branko & Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Measuring ancient inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4412, The World Bank.
    3. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "How Prosperous were the Romans? Evidence from Diocletian`s Price Edict (301 AD)," Economics Series Working Papers 363, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. José Díaz & Rolf Lüders & Gert Wagner, "undated". "Economía Chilena 1810-1995: Evolución Cuantitativa del Producto Total y Sectorial," Documentos de Trabajo 186, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    5. Peter Temin, 2006. "The Economy of the Early Roman Empire," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 133-151, Winter.
    6. Milanovic, Branko, 2013. "The return of “patrimonial capitalism”: review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century," MPRA Paper 52384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "The Institution of Douglass North," MPRA Paper 21768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Doug Jones, 2021. "Barbarigenesis and the collapse of complex societies: Rome and after," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(9), pages 1-33, September.
    9. Edo, Anthony & Melitz, Jacques, 2019. "The Primary Cause of European Inflation in 1500-1700: Precious Metals or Population? The English Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 14023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Thomas Brenner & Johann Peter Murmann, 2016. "Using simulation experiments to test historical explanations: the development of the German dye industry 1857-1913," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 907-932, October.
    11. Guillaume Daudin, 2006. "Profits du commerce intercontinental et croissance dans la France du xviiie siècle," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 605-613.
    12. Lothian, James R., 2002. "The internationalization of money and finance and the globalization of financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 699-724, November.
    13. Pietro Alessandrini & Michele Fratianni, 2009. "International Monies, Special Drawing Rights, and Supernational Money," Working Papers 2009-03, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    14. Álvarez, Begoña & Palencia, Fernando Ramos, 2018. "Human capital and earnings in eighteenth-century Castile," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 105-133.
    15. Kevin H. O'Rourke, Leandro Prados de la Escosura and Guilllaume Daudin, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp249, IIIS.
    16. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 783-808, September.
    17. Jakob Madsen & James Ang & Rajabrata Banerjee, 2010. "Four centuries of British economic growth: the roles of technology and population," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 263-290, December.
    18. Jakob B. Madsen & Fabrice Murtin, 2017. "British economic growth since 1270: the role of education," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 229-272, September.
    19. Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia & Alfonso Díez-Minguela & Julio Martinez-Galarraga & Daniel A. Tirado-Fabregat, 2018. "Two stories, one fate: Age-heaping and literacy in Spain, 1877-1930," Working Papers 0139, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    20. Gerald P. Dwyer & James R. Lothian, 2002. "International money and common currencies in historical perspective," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

    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:wpa:wuwpeh:0501003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    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: EconWPA (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.