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A State and Local Consumer Price Index for the United States in 1890

  • Michael R. Haines

This paper estimates a cost of living index for 39 states of the United States and the District of Columbia, as well as for 70 individual cities and towns, for the year 1890. It gives an overall index in addition to seven commodity subindices (food, clothing, housing, fuel and lighting, furniture, liquor and tobacco, and other coITllTlCX1ities). The cost of housing is only provided for 21 of the states and 5 of the cities, however. separate overall indices are calculated with and without housing costs. The source is the Aldrich Report for all the prices except housing. Housing costs were derived from the 1889/90 U.S. Commissioner of Labor Survey and from the earlier work of Albert Rees on real wages in American manufacturing. These price indices constitute simple fixed-weight Lespeyres indices and are not "true" constant utility cost of living indices.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/h0002.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0002.

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Date of creation: May 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Historical Methods, vol.22, no.3 Summer 1989
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0002
Note: DAE
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  1. Deaton, A., 1988. "Quality, Quantity, And Spatial Variation Of Price," Papers 30, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  2. Deaton, Angus, 1987. "Estimation of own- and cross-price elasticities from household survey data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 7-30.
  3. Coelho, Philip R. P. & Shepherd, James F., 1979. "The Impact of Regional Differences in Prices and Wages on Economic Growth: The United States in 1890," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 69-85, March.
  4. Michael R. Haines, 1989. "Consumer Behavior and Immigrant Assimilation: A comparison of the United States, Britain and Germany, 1889/1890," NBER Historical Working Papers 0006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Deaton, Angus S & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Thomas, Duncan, 1989. "The Influence of Household Composition on Household Expenditure Patterns: Theory and Spanish Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 179-200, February.
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