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What happened to the inequality of real income and wealth before, during, and after the Industrial Revolution? Just as the usual Industrial Revolution era (1750-1850) has been revised by historians of economic growth, so too the articles in this issue follow the lead of Van Zanden (1995) in...
This study offers an estimate of Portuguese income inequality over a period of more than 200 years. It is presented in three widely spaced benchmarks: 1565, 1700 and 1770. This entirely new index is based in large measure on a little-researched annual personal income tax (décima) instituted in...
This article provides an overview of long-term changes in the relative conditions of the rich in preindustrial Europe. It covers four pre-unification Italian states (Sabaudian State, Florentine State, Kingdom of Naples and Republic of Venice) as well as other areas of Europe (Low Countries,...
This paper traces between-group earnings inequality for six Latin American countries over two centuries based on wage and income series compiled from a large array of primary and secondary sources. We find that inequality varied substantially by country and by period, questioning the notion that...
This article presents per capita GDP and income distribution estimates for preindustrial Poland. It is based on a social table for the Voivodeship of Cracow in 1578. Our evidence indicates that income in Poland was distributed more equally than in contemporary Holland. However, the extraction...
We explore the price-setting protocol used by the money-changers guild, the Arte del Cambio, to set the exchange rate between domestic gold and silver coins in Renaissance Florence, a precursor in purpose and set-up to the contemporary system of posting interest rates. We show that the protocol...
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