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The Long Run History of Economic Inequality: Income, Wealth and Financial Crisis

This research project establishes a long-run global picture of economic inequality as revealed by fiscal records and analyzes the long-run drivers of inequality as well as the distributional impact of banking crises.

There is a widespread concern about growing economic inequality and about its long-run development and transmission across generations. The financial crisis has reinforced the interest in looking at the upper part of the distribution after observing that recent crises tended to be followed by an increase in income concentration. This project compares the current level of inequality with that of earlier periods to determine if there are any resemblances in the historical perspective. The research sheds light on two issues that have not been systematically studied yet: How do financial crises impact inequality? Do increasing income and wealth disparities contribute to the build up of systemic financial fragility?