Discussion Paper Series in Economics, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Variations in the price and quality of English grain, 1750-1914:quantitative evidence and empirical implications.
() and Edmund Cannon
Abstract: Interpretation of historic grain price data may be
hazardous owing to systematic grain quality variation – both cross
sectionally and over varying time horizons (intra-year, inter-year, long
run). We use the English wheat market, 1750-1914, as an example to quantify
this issue. First, we show that bushel weight approximates grain quality.
Then we show that cross sectional and intra-year variation are substantial
and problematic, generating erroneous inference regarding market
integration. Long run variation is significant, due to sharply declining
international quality differentials, and this impacts estimated cost of
living changes. By contrast, inter-year variation is smaller and controlled
for more easily.
Keywords: Grain quality; markets; cost of living.; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: N01; N50; Q13; (follow links to similar papers)
22 pages, March 27, 2015
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