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Wealth distribution in modern and medieval societies

  • M. A. Santos
  • R. Coelho
  • G. Hegyi
  • Z. Néda
  • J. Ramasco
Article

Abstract.

The power-law form of the upper part of the distribution of individual wealth/income (Pareto's law) is very well established for many countries and years. The Pareto index is however non-universal, varying typically from 1.5 to around 3. A recently introduced model for wealth exchange on an evolving family-network [Physica A 353, 515 (2005)] is reviewed and compared with empirical data. While the model mimics very well recent individual wealth data in a modern society (U.K.), it fails to explain results for a feudal society, based on the number of serf families owned by nobles (Hungary, mid XVI century). The unusually low (around 1) Pareto index found in this case is not compatible with the previous model. It is suggested that this fact may be interpreted as a result of the absence of active trading among agents.

Keywords

European Physical Journal Special Topic Wealth Distribution Total Wealth Feudal Society Pareto Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Santos
    • 1
  • R. Coelho
    • 1
  • G. Hegyi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Z. Néda
    • 2
  • J. Ramasco
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Física and Centro de Física do Porto, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsBabeş-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  3. 3.Department of History and PhilosophyBabeş- Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  4. 4.Physics DepartmentEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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