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A price index for Canada, 1688 to 1850

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  • Vincent Geloso

Abstract

This paper presents the first price index for any region of Canada that spans from the colonial era to the mid‐19th century. I constructed it using prices from the account books of religious congregations with estates throughout modern‐day Quebec. It represents a substantial improvement over previous indexes thanks to the consistent price quotations in the source material, the high frequency of observations for many goods, the vast number of goods and the inclusion of numerous non‐agricultural and non‐food goods. Its price trends differ mildly from those of existing but less‐comprehensive price indexes. I link this new index with post‐1850 indexes to create a 328‐year price index for Canada. Un indice des prix au Canada de 1688 à 1850. Cet article présente le premier indice des prix pour n’importe quelle région du Canada depuis la période coloniale jusqu’au milieu du 19e siècle. J’ai élaboré cet indice en utilisant les livres de comptes des congrégations religieuses possédant des terres dans l’actuelle province du Québec. Cet indice présente des améliorations importantes par rapport aux autres indices grâce à la cohérence des prix relevés à partir des documents sources, la fréquence élevée des observations pour de nombreux produits, la vaste gamme de produits et la prise en compte de nombreux produits non‐agricoles et non‐alimentaires. Les courbes de prix dans cet indice diffèrent légèrement des autres indices des prix existants, ces derniers s’avérant moins complets. J’articule ce nouvel indice des prix aux indices des prix établis après 1850 pour constituer un indice des prix au Canada s’étalant sur 328 ans.

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  • Vincent Geloso, 2019. "A price index for Canada, 1688 to 1850," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(2), pages 526-560, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:52:y:2019:i:2:p:526-560
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12381
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    12. Geloso, Vincent & Kufenko, Vadim, 2015. "Malthusian pressures: Empirical evidence from a frontier economy," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 42/2015, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
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    15. Vincent Geloso & Mathieu Bédard, 2018. "Was Economic Growth Likely in Lower Canada?," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 33(Fall 2018), pages 1-23.
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    1. Maja Uhre Pedersen & Vincent Geloso & Paul Sharp, 2020. "Globalization and Empire: Market integration and international trade between Canada, the United States and Britain, 1750-1870," Working Papers 0204, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Vincent Geloso & Mathieu Bédard, 2018. "Was Economic Growth Likely in Lower Canada?," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 33(Fall 2018), pages 1-23.
    3. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2023. "Economic freedom in retrospect," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 37433, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    4. Vincent Geloso & Peter Lindert, 2020. "Relative costs of living, for richer and poorer, 1688–1914," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(3), pages 417-442, September.
    5. Candela, Rosolino A. & Geloso, Vincent, 2019. "Why consider the lighthouse a public good?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    6. Bryan P Cutsinger & Vincent Geloso & Mathieu Bédard, 2022. "The wild card: colonial paper money in French North America, 1685 to 1719 [Economic Structure and Agricultural Productivity in Europe, 1300–1800]," European Review of Economic History, European Historical Economics Society, vol. 26(2), pages 185-207.
    7. Jeremy Land & Vincent Geloso, 2020. "Colonial Military Garrisons as Labor‐Market Shocks: Quebec City and Boston, 1760–1775," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1326-1344, July.
    8. Stefan Gerlach & Rebecca Stuart, 2021. "Commodity Prices and Global Inflation, 1851-1913," IRENE Working Papers 21-07, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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