|日時||2019年7月17日（水）17:00 ～ 18:30
16:00 ～ 17:30
- The Deep Roots of Inequality
- 公文 譲（一橋大学社会科学高等研究院）
- The equality of East Asian societies relative to Western Europe has been well documented in the late 19th century. This paper shows that such regional patterns may extend back over many centuries by comparing rural wealth inequality in Japan and China to Western Europe. I first present new evidence of wealth inequality from early modern Japan, 1650-1870, using a new dataset of household landholdings across 591 villages. Two facts emerge: First, Japan was highly equal relative to Western Europe, with Gini coefficients averaging 0.5 compared to 0.7-0.9 in contemporary Western Europe. Second, Japanese equality was stable compared to Western Europe where inequality trended upwards. Further, I show evidence that ancient China and Japan adopted an equal field system which kept society equal compared to medieval Europe which was already unequal circa 1300. Finally, I show evidence that differences in demographic institutions can explain why inequality outcomes diverged across these regions.