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  • Istituto di Economia
  • Seminario

Of labor and land, scarcity and value: land use and the global dynamics of inequality

Date 09.07.2024 time
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The Institute of Economics will hold a seminar meeting as part of its Seminar Series on Tuesday, July 9, 2024: Mattia Fochesato from Bocconi will present the paper “Of labor and land, scarcity and value: land use and the global dynamics of inequality".


Here we assess the extent to which land use relating to food acquisition (farming, herding, foraging) and associated value regimes shaped past wealth inequality. We consider the hypothesis that land use regimes in which production was limited by heritable material wealth (such as land) sustained higher levels of inequality than those limited by (free) human labor. We address this hypothesis using the GINI (Global Dynamics of INequalIty) project database, using disparities in house size and storage capacity to estimate wealth inequality in different world regions and through time. We find that labor-limited systems were significantly less unequal than land-limited regimes though governance could moderate these differences. Transitions from labor- to land-limited regimes appear to underlie the development of extended political hierarchies. Land-limited systems in the eastern hemisphere exhibit greater longevity and cumulative inequality than in the western hemisphere.

The Seminar will be held in Aula 5.

For online partecipation use this link.