Item Details

The Lion's Share: Inequality and the Rise of the Fiscal State in Preindustrial Europe

Guido Alfani, Matteo Di Tullio
Format
Book
Published
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Language
English
Series
Cambridge Studies in Economic History
ISBN
9781108476218, 110847621X
Summary
This is the most in-depth analysis of inequality and social polarization ever attempted for a preindustrial society. Using data from the archives of the Venetian Terraferma, and compared with information available for elsewhere in Europe, Guido Alfani and Matteo Di Tullio demonstrate that the rise of the fiscal-military state served to increase economic inequality in the early modern period. Preindustrial fiscal systems tended to be regressive in nature, and increased post-tax inequality compared to pre-tax - in contrast to what we would assume is the case in contemporary societies. This led to greater and greater disparities in wealth, which were made worse still as taxes were collected almost entirely to fund war and defence rather than social welfare. Though focused on Old Regime Europe, Alfani and Di Tullio's findings speak to contemporary debates about the roots of inequality and social stratification.
Contents
  • The Venetian fiscal system : centre and periphery
  • The rich and the poor
  • Economic inequality in the long run
  • Taxation, redistribution and inequality
  • Appendix: Building regional distributions of wealth for the Republic of Venice and for Veneto.
Description
xii, 223 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 200-225) and index.
Technical Details

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