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The Costs of Doing Hard Time: A penitentiary-based regional price index for Canada, 1883-1923

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  • Chris Minns
  • Mary Mackinnon

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College
    McGill University)

Abstract

We construct consumer price indices for Canada, mainly based on the expenditure records of Canada’s federal penitentiaries. Regional price variation was much greater in Canada in the late nineteenth century than in the northern U.S. The new data suggest substantial price decline to 1900. Regional price variation in Canada decreased gradually to 1914, and quickly during the First World War. For 1900-14 and 1922-3, new data are largely consistent with consumer price data compiled by The Labour Gazette. The new data suggest more inflation during the First World War.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 200051.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:200051

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Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
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Fax: 6772503
Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/
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  1. Michael R. Haines, 1989. "A State and Local Consumer Price Index for the United States in 1890," NBER Historical Working Papers 0002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Mary MacKinnon, 2010. "Labour market dynamics in Canada, 1891-1911: A first look from new census samples," Working Papers 1014, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Ross D. Hickey & David S. Jacks, 2011. "Nominal rigidities and retail price dispersion in Canada over the twentieth century," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 749-780, August.
  3. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Lee Summerfield, 2014. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," Economic History Working Papers 57209, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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