This article provides an overview of wealth inequality in England from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth century, based on a novel database of distributions of taxable household wealth across nineteen counties plus London. To account for high thresholds of fiscal exemption, a new method is introduced to reconstruct complete distributions from left-censored observations. First we analyze inequality at the county level, finding an impressive stability across time in the relative position of the English counties, perturbed only by the tendency of the South and South-East to become relatively more inegalitarian. Then we produce an aggregate distribution representative of England as a whole, and we detect an overall tendency for inequality to grow from medieval to early modern times due largely to North-South divergence in average household wealth. We discuss our results in the light of the recent literature on historical inequality.

Wealth inequality in pre-industrial England: a long-term view (late thirteenth to sixteenth centuries)

Alfani, Guido
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article provides an overview of wealth inequality in England from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth century, based on a novel database of distributions of taxable household wealth across nineteen counties plus London. To account for high thresholds of fiscal exemption, a new method is introduced to reconstruct complete distributions from left-censored observations. First we analyze inequality at the county level, finding an impressive stability across time in the relative position of the English counties, perturbed only by the tendency of the South and South-East to become relatively more inegalitarian. Then we produce an aggregate distribution representative of England as a whole, and we detect an overall tendency for inequality to grow from medieval to early modern times due largely to North-South divergence in average household wealth. We discuss our results in the light of the recent literature on historical inequality.
2022
Alfani, Guido; Montero, Hector García
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4052685
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