Proposal preview

Analyzing Inequality in the Past: New Data and Modern Approaches

In recent years a number of influential studies on the historical evolution of inequality and its causes have raised new interest on the topic. Is inequality expected to increase in the future or will we see Kuznets waves in the long run? Are economic or non-economic factors more important drivers of inequality? Do these drivers change over time? These vital questions can be approached using inequality estimates based on household budgets, social tables and top income shares which are being reconstructed by scholars for an increasing number of past societies. The present session brings together junior and senior scholars whose research relies on new data and modern approaches to provide novel insights on inequality in the past. Session participants will discuss implications of their latest findings for the global policy debate on inequality as well as promising avenues for future research.


  • Stefan Nikolic, University of Groningen,, Netherlands
  • Maria Gomez-Leon, University of Groningen,, Netherlands
  • Herman de Jong, University of Groningen, , Netherlands

Session members

  • Ian Gazeley, University of Sussex,
  • Eric Bengtsson, Lund University,
  • Giacomo Gabbuti, Oxford University,
  • Filip Novokmet, Paris School of Economics,
  • Stefan Nikolic, University of Groningen,
  • Maria Gomez-Leon, University of Groningen,
  • Herman de Jong, University of Groningen,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Branko Milanovic, Graduate Center, CUNY,