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Peter Lindert's new study shows that U.S. Income Inequality is worse Today than it was in 1774

In a new study Peter Lindert (of UC Davis) and Jeffrey Williamson (of Harvard) write a fascinating exploration of early American incomes, arguing that, on the eve of the Revolutionary War, wealth was distributed more evenly across the 13 colonies than anywhere else in the world that we have record of. The study is receiving widespread attention and it was covered by this article, on September 19th, 2012,  in The Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Lindert and co-author Steven Nafziger (Williams College) have produced a related NBER paper showing the first detailed estimates of income inequality in Imperial Russia just before the Revolution.

Both papers by Lindert have also been covered on the Freakonomics Blog on September 25, 2012.

Both the American and the Russian papers are part of Lindert's larger NSF project on Global Prices and Incomes 1200-1950, which just received a new NSF grant covering research through 2014.  One of the collaborators on that project is our department's recent PhD Leticia Arroyo Abad, now an Assistant Professor at Middlebury College.

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