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AN ESTIMATE OF AVERAGE INCOME AND INEQUALITY IN BYZANTIUM AROUND YEAR 1000

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Using recent economic statistics from the peak period of Byzantine political and economic influence, we estimate the average income around the year 1000 to have been about 6 nomismata per capita per annum. This is then translated into current prices using two independent methods. They both yield an estimate around $PPP 640–680 in 1990 international prices. It is argued that this amount is some 20 percent below an average estimate of Roman incomes at the time of Augustus (around year one). Assuming that most of income differences in Byzantium were due to the differences in average incomes between social classes, we estimate the Gini coefficient to have been in the range between 40 and 45.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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