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835. Inequality in pre-industrial Europe (1260-1850): new evidence from the labour share

Working Paper n.835 - Luglio 2020
Giovanni Federico
New York University – Abu Dhabi
Alessandro Nuvolari
Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa
Michelangelo Vasta 
Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena
The dynamics of economic inequality and its relation with economic growth in the preindustrial world is increasingly attracting the attention of both economic historians and economists. This paper introduces new estimates of the labour share in five major European countries (England, France, Holland, Spain and Portugal) for the period 1250-1850 constructed using an innovative method based on the conversion of real wages in 2011 PPP US$. We find a complex pattern of evolution of the labour share with major fluctuations. We also establish a negative correlation between variations of GDP and variations in the labour share
Jel Codes
N33, N01