On Historical Household Budgets
43 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 2016
The paper argues that household budgets are the best starting point for investigating a number of big questions related to the evolution of the living standards during the last two-three centuries. If one knows where to look, historical family budgets are more abundant than might be suspected. And statistical techniques have been developed to handle the associated problems of small, incomplete, and unrepresentative samples. We introduce the Historical Household Budgets (HHB) Project, aimed at gathering data and sources, but also at creating an informational infrastructure that provides i) reliable storage and easy access to historical family budget data, along with ii) tools to configure the data as it is entered so as to harmonise it with present-day surveys.
Keywords: Household budgets; household budget surveys; living standards; inequality; poverty; survey; globalization; purchasing power parities; grouped data; poststratification
JEL Classification: N30, I31, I32, C81, C83, D60, D63, O12, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation