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American Incomes before and after the Revolution

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  • Peter H. Lindert
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

Building social tables in the tradition of Gregory King, we develop new estimates suggesting that between 1774 and 1800 American incomes fell in real per capita terms. The colonial South was richer than the North at the start, but was already beginning to lose its income lead by 1800. We also find that free American colonists had much more equal incomes than did households in England and Wales. The colonists also had greater purchasing power than their English counterparts over all of the income ranks except in the top few percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "American Incomes before and after the Revolution," NBER Working Papers 17211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17211
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Was the American Revolution an Economic Disaster?
      by andrewdsmith in The Past Speaks on 2011-07-15 13:19:13

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Weiss, Thomas, 2014. "Economic growth in the Mid-Atlantic region: Conjectural estimates for 1720 to 1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-59.
    2. Serrano, Joaquín & Benzaquén, Ivana, 2017. "La frontera de posibilidades de desigualdad en América Latina," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(334), pages .427-461, abril-jun.
    3. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 2018. "The Colonial American Economy," ISU General Staff Papers 201802270800001002, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:137-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2012. "American Incomes 1774-1860," NBER Working Papers 18396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "GeoPopulation-Institution Hypothesis: Reconciling American Development Process and Reversal of Fortune within a Unified Growth Framework," MPRA Paper 73863, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bonfatti, Roberto, 2017. "The sustainability of empire in a global perspective: The role of international trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 137-156.
    8. Guerriero, Carmine & de Oliveira, Guilherme, 2014. "Extractive States: The Case of the Italian Unification," MPRA Paper 70916, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Apr 2016.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-15-00420 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. van Bavel, Bas, 2016. "The Invisible Hand?: How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199608133.
    11. Javier Rodríguez Weber, 2015. "The Political Economy of the Top 1% in an Age of Turbulence: Chile 1913-1973," Documentos de trabajo 41, Programa de Historia Económica, FCS, Udelar.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N91 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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