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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

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  • Mary MacKinnon

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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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  • Chris Minns & Mary MacKinnon, 2006. "The Costs Of Doing Hard Time: A Penitentiary-Based Regional Price Index For Canada, 1883-1923," Departmental Working Papers 2006-09, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2006-09
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    File URL: http://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/Mary20062.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lloyd G. Reynolds, 1938. "The Canadian Baking Industry: A Study of an Imperfect Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 659-678.
    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.
    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Fraser Summerfield, 2016. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 299-321.

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