HHB continues to improve coverage of the right tail of the income distribution (the super-rich), with the goal of producing better estimates of economic inequality in the long run. For this, historical family archives are crucial: they preserve the family budgets of generations of noblemen and aristocrats.
HHB will soon launch a project focused on the historical family archive of the Pepi family of Florence.
The family dates back to the 11th century, and it is believed that its name derives from having had the monopoly of the pepper trade in Florence. A prominent exponent is Ruberto Pepi (1572-1634), a spice merchant and one of the first bankers in Florence, who married Isabella de' Medici in 1608 and made the family one of the protagonists of the Florentine society. The Pepi family still lives in Palazzo Pepi, where the Family Archive is currently preserved.