Can Geography Explain Quebec's Historical Poverty?
34 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 26, 2021
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: Suggested Citation