Göteborg Papers in Economic History
Levnadsstandarden speglad i bouppteckningar : En undersökning av två metoder att använda svenska bouppteckningar för en levnadsstandardsundersökning samt en internationell jämförelse
Abstract: The standard of living in the pre-industrial world is an
interesting but challenging subject. No single method alone can solve the
problem. In order to grasp the standard of living several methods must be
used, and work must be done across discipline borderlines. In this paper I
discuss methods for using post mortal inventories (estate inventories) in
order to indicate the material standard of living in Sweden. Similar
methods have been used in France, Great Britain and North America. To adapt
these methods to Swedish conditions have been the main focus of the paper.
The first method tested here uses the valuation of all objects stated in
the post mortal inventory (not including houses and farms). This method had
previously been tested on English and North American inventories. All
values in the Swedish material have been converted to British pounds in
order to facilitate comparisons. The second method tested uses the objects
in the estate inventory to create an index of the material standard of
living. This index was first used in France and later in Canada. Some
preliminary results in this work indicate that Swedish farmers by 1750 were
well below English and French farmers in material standard of living.
However, during the fifty years that followed a noticeable change took
Keywords: Economic History; Standard of living; post mortal inventories; methods; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: N01; N30; N50; N90; (follow links to similar papers)
33 pages, November 8, 2007
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