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Pramod Sur and Masaru Sasaki

No 2020-07, AGI Working Paper Series from Asian Growth Research Institute

Abstract: Discussions around the growing difference in wealth, as well as its distribution, has gained prominent attention recently. What are the possible causes that could potentially contribute to the difference in wealth and its distribution? In this paper, we propose a novel reason, i.e., famine. We combine contemporary individual-level wealth data with historical data on famine severity in China and show that exposure to famine has a negative effect on the wealth of individuals born during this period. We further pursue a number of strategies to determine whether the relation we uncover is, in fact, causal.

Keywords: Wealth Distribution; Inequality; Famine; China; D31; O15; N35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-03
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