Thursday, June 14, 2007

Economic History

On a listserv I monitor, someone asked last week about historic exchange rates, and was directed to the section on the site, How Much Is That?, which includes The Value of Money; Growth Rates, GDP and Earnings; and Financial Indicators, all in time series. Useful. But what I found really interesting on the site were the databases, "an on-line location for researchers in economic history to make their data series available to other professionals and interested scholars. Several data series have been given to EH.Net and are available as downloadable files, while many other titles may be accessed through our Database Directory."
# Weekly Data on the Confederate Grayback Note Price of a Gold Dollar in Richmond and Houston
# Developing Country Export Statistics: 1840, 1860, 1880 and 1900
# Early Forward Exchange Markets: Vienna, 1876-1914
# Early U.S. Securities Prices, 1790-1860
# Global Financial Data, 1880-1913
# Greenback Series
# Historical Labor Statistics Project Series
# U.S. Customs House Data, 1854-59
# U.S. National Bank Notes, 1864-1935
# U.S. Population Series
# U.S. Public Debt Issues, 1775-1976
# Unskilled wage index, U.S.
# Weekly Data on Confederate Cotton Bond Prices in London and Junk Bond Prices in Amsterdam
# Wheat Prices in France, 1825-1913
# U.S. Agricultural Workforce,1800-1900
This latter form describes, among other things, the number of agricultural slaves, by state, in 1800-1860.
I haven't even explored the Encyclopedia and Related Sites. Good stuff.

Of course, there are inherent difficulties in comparing salaries and money back in time, as this article notes. Also, here is a link to many links about the Current Value of Old Money.

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