Persistence in Wealth Distribution: The Case of Calabria's Cassa Sacra
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The question of income and wealth distribution has once again become central to the economic policy debate. The aim of this paper is to show how a redistribution of land ownership through market mechanisms can have adverse and persistent effects over time. In particular, we have analysed the case of the "Cassa Sacra", operating at the end of the eighteenth century to fund the reconstruction of 1783 earthquake, showing how most land ownerships expropriated to the Church was acquired by the wealthiest classes. It is therefore shown that the variable that highlights such tendency has a strong explicative power with respect to the concentration of land ownership in the Calabrian municipalities in 1948. This power is lessened, instead, in predicting income distribution in 2001.