[CANCELLED] MSS Lunch Lecture Mattia Fochesato, 'Different Local Responses to the Black Death'

05-03-2020 from 12:00 to 13:00
Ghent, Campus Boekentoren, Rozier building, 1st floor, Lecture Room 1.3
Stefan Meysman
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Different Local Responses to the Black Death: A Comparison of Wages and Prices across the Mediterranean cities in the Late Middle Ages

The lecture by Prof. Mattia Fochesato (Bocconi University) is cancelled.

We regret to inform you that the Medieval Seminar Series Lunch Lecture of Thursday, March 5th will be cancelled. Due to the increasingly critical situation in Northern Italy because of the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the speaker Mattia Fochesato has asked us to preventively cancel the lecture. Teaching and research dissemination activities at Bocconi University (Milan) have been cancelled.

With Prof. Fochesato, we are sorry for this cancellation and we look forward to welcoming him as a speaker at the Pirenne Institute at a later date.


How did the per capita incomes of the Mediterranean economies respond to the late medieval demographic shocks? In this paper I provide a new quantitative synthesis of nominal wages in Cairo and Damascus and I compare them to a new series for Zaragoza and the available series for Florence and Southern France. I find that, while after the Black Death per capita incomes increased in most of the Mediterranean cities included in the dataset, in the city of Cairo the post-Black Death nominal wages and welfare ratios decreased. In addition, I conjecture, through anecdotal evidence, that the pre-plague combination of low population, high labor specialization, and tightening political and labor institutions might explain the response of per capita incomes to the Black Death in the city of Cairo.


Mattia Fochesato (Ph.D. Economics) is Assistant Professor at the Bocconi University. His research focuses on the long run determinants of income and wealth distribution across different world regions. In particular, he is currently working on the institutional causes of the late medieval and early modern North- South economic divide in Europe and the analysis of the determinants of trends of wealth inequality from prehistory to the present. Previously, he held positions at SciencesPo (Paris), NYU Abu Dhabi, and the University of Basel.