Some interesting results from the research of Italian economists, which, if accurate, shows Florence's wealth remains in the same families as in the 1400's.
"New research from a pair of Italian economists documents an extraordinary fact: The wealthiest families in Florence today are descended from the wealthiest families of Florence nearly 600 years ago.
"The two economists — Guglielmo Barone and Sauro Mocetti of the Bank of Italy — compared data on Florentine taxpayers in 1427 against tax data in 2011. Because Italian surnames are highly regional and distinctive, they could compare the income of families with a certain surname today, to those with the same surname in 1427. They found that the occupations, income and wealth of those distant ancestors with the same surname can help predict the occupation, income and wealth of their descendants today.
"As they wrote for the economics commentary website VoxEU, 'The top earners among the current taxpayers were found to have already been at the top of the socioeconomic ladder six centuries ago.'"--Josh Zumbrun, The Wall Street Journal