Giacomo Gabbuti

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University of Oxford

When the Leopard Meets Gatsby. Inheritance, Inequality, and Social Mobility in Modern Italy

I am most grateful to the EHS for enabling me to partially fund my final year of PhD. In my dissertation, I investigate the evolution of inequality in Italy, between the unification of the country in 1861 and WWII period, both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. EHS support allowed me to finish the construction of a new database of c. 1.5 million observation from taxpayers’ lists, that I used to estimate social mobility across Italian provinces between 1889 and 1933.  At the same time, in these months I was able to visit the National Archives and the Parliamentary Libraries in Rome, to carry on a case study of the abolition of inheritance tax (1923): a neglected episode of politics on inequality, that I am about to present at history and history of economic thought conferences.