Distinct within North America: Living Standards in French Canada, 1688 to 1775

Although this paper was submitted roughly a month ago, I am now making available as a working paper. It is drawn from my PhD dissertation with some edits over the basket to measure real wages. Basically, its the first paper to measure living standards from 1688 to 1775 in Canada using a welfare ratio approach commonly used by economic historians. The paper can be found here on SSRN and the abstract is below:

This paper uses a novel dataset of prices and wages from the French colony of Quebec (Canada’s second largest province today) between 1688 and 1775 in order to measure living standards during the colonial era. Using these data, I find that Quebec experienced no growth over the long-run, and that for much of the period, Quebec was poorer than the American colonies and England, while not being appreciably richer than France. However, this last conclusion is sensitive to changes in the basket used to compare wages.


Prices in Canada from 1688 to 1850

I have just completed my most recent paper. It is a price index for Canada covering the period from 1688 to 1850. I use prices collected from the account books of religious congregations with estates throughout the modern-day province of Quebec. The consistency of the type of 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 represent a substantial improvement over previous indexes. Price trends are mildly different from those of existing, but less comprehensive, price indexes. This new index is used to link up with indexes post-1850 in order to create a 328 years-long price index for Canada.

The paper can be consulted here at SSRN and here at Academia