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

40 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016 Last revised: 6 Jul 2017

Vincent Geloso

Texas Tech University

Date Written: December 14, 2016

Abstract

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

Geloso, Vincent, Distinct within North America: Living Standards in French Canada, 1688 to 1775 (December 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2885514

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

1901 University Avenue
Lubbock, TX Texas 79410
United States

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