Distinct within North America: Living Standards in French Canada, 1688 to 1775
40 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016 Last revised: 6 Jul 2017
Date Written: December 14, 2016
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 follow a welfare ratios approach and find that Quebec was poorer than the American colonies and England, while being slightly richer than France. However, this last conclusion is sensitive to changes in the basket used to compare wages. When one shifts from a bare-bones basket in the welfare ratio to a respectable basket, Quebec becomes only as rich as France, but remains poorer than the American colonies and England.
Keywords: Economic History, Canadian Economic History, Economic Growth
JEL Classification: N11, O51, E31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation