Can Geography Explain Quebec's Historical Poverty?

34 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

See all articles by Vincent Geloso

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Louis Rouanet

Western Kentucky University

Date Written: October 26, 2021

Abstract

From the 19th century to the 1940's, Quebec remained poorer and less economically developed than the rest of Canada in general and poorer than Ontario in particular. This placed Quebec at the bottom of North American rankings of living standards. One prominent hypothesis for the initiation of this gap is tied to disparities in agricultural land quality fail to explain this development gap. Using newly available data for the mid-19th century, we formally test this hypothesis and find it holds little explanatory power. We further argue that poor institutions in Quebec (i.e. notably seigneurial tenure) are at the root of the development gap.

Keywords: Geography, Canadian Economic History, Quebec, Seigneurial Tenure, Institutions

JEL Classification: O13, N11, N51

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Rouanet, Louis, Can Geography Explain Quebec's Historical Poverty? (October 26, 2021). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 21-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3950742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3950742

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Louis Rouanet

Western Kentucky University ( email )

1 Big Red Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576
United States

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