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Prices and Real Inequality in Europe since 1500

Hoffman, Philip T. and Jacks, David and Levin, Patricia A. and Lindert, Peter H. (2000) Prices and Real Inequality in Europe since 1500. Recent Work, University of California, Davis , Davis, CA.

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Introducing a concept of real, as opposed to nominal, inequality of income or wealth suggests some historical reinterpretations, buttressed by a closer look at consumption by the rich. The purchasing powers of different income classes depend on how relative prices move. The influence of relative prices on real inequality was greater in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries than in the twentieth. Between 1500 and about 1800, staple food and fuels became dearer, while luxury goods, especially servants, became cheaper, greatly widening the inequality of lifestyles. Peace, industrialization, and globalization reversed this inegalitarian price effect in the nineteenth century.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription paper at Agricultural History Center, UC Davis ItemLater and less complete version publisherd as journal article (2002)
Alternate Title:Real Inequality in Europe since 1500
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
University of California – Davis. Working Paper102
Series Name:Recent Work
Classification Code:JEL classifications: N33, D12, D31, D63
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160321-115511702
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65535
Deposited On:14 Dec 2016 18:08
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:48

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