Economics at your fingertips  

Social Adaptation to Diseases and Inequality: Historical Evidence from Malaria in Italy

Paolo Buonanno, Elena Esposito and Giorgio Gulino

No 1220, Working Papers from Barcelona School of Economics

Abstract: Disease and epidemics have been a constant presence throughout the history of humanity. In order to mitigate the risks of contagion, societies have long “adapted” to diseases, implementing an array of coping strategies that, in the long run, have had considerable economic and social consequences. This article advances the hypothesis, and documents empirically, that the need to alleviate the dangers of malaria shaped all aspects of life in agricultural communities, from where and how people settled, to how and what they could farm. As larger farms were better equipped to adopt these risk-mitigating strategies, centuries of exposure to malaria had important implications for inequality and wealth distribution.

Keywords: land concentration; Inequality; malaria; diseases; human capital; long-run development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N30 O13 O15 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-gro and nep-his
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Social adaptation to diseases and inequality: Historical evidence from malaria in Italy (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Barcelona School of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Bruno Guallar ().

Page updated 2024-06-25
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1220