Wealth Inequality and Its Historical Context

  • Livio Di Matteo


Wealth inequality is the disparity in asset ownership. Wealth provides more economic security than income and is a better indicator of economic and political power. The long-term impact of industrialization and growth in the Kuznets Curve Hypothesis postulates an optimistic inverted u-shaped inequality-growth relationship, as opposed to Piketty’s pessimism. Evidence supports and contradicts the Kuznets curve and finds additional economic, technological, demographic, social, and institutional factors affecting the long-term distribution of both wealth and income. On balance, the studies conducted suggest that economic inequality was relatively lower in pre-industrial periods, grew during industrialization, and then appears to have been mitigated in the wake of industrialization with the advent of social security, public policy, and social investments that may have broadened wealth accumulation opportunities.


Kuznets Technology Piketty Wealth shares 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Livio Di Matteo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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