Forthcoming: The Equally “Bad” French and English Farmers of Quebec – New TFP Measures from the 1831 Census

My paper with Vadim Kufenko and Michael Hinton regarding farming efficiency in Quebec during the 19th century has been accepted for publication in Historical Methods which is a great journal of quantitative historians. The paper can be consulted here and the abstract is below:

New TFP estimates drawn from the neglected census of 1831 for Lower Canada are used to test the controversial, but still dominant, traditional “poor French farmers” explanation for a prolonged economic crisis.  The new evidence shows that French-speaking areas were equally productive as English-speaking areas – something that upturns the established consensus and reinforces the minority viewpoint that culture had little to do with the crisis. Using a broad range of controls, we find that this conclusion is robust and that other variables such as settlement recency, environment and economic structure were much more significant determinants of TFP.  We argue that these results warrant the abandonment of the cultural explanation and a shift towards other explanatory channels


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