Method and Question in Economic History
Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Hyatt Regency Chicago, Horner
- Chair: Melissa Dell, Harvard University
In the Shadow of the Mushroom Cloud: Nuclear Testing, Radioactive Fallout and Damage to United States Agriculture
AbstractIn the Shadow of the Mushroom Cloud: Nuclear Testing, Radioactive Fallout and Damage to U.S. Agriculture
Relative Value Significance
AbstractMeasuring Worth is Better Without the CPI
Economic historians, economists, journalists and the general public are always quoting monetary amounts. Be it prices, incomes, costs or wealth, these numbers are reported to give the readers an idea of the relative value of the item being discussed. When looking at historic amounts, there is often an attempt to differentiate between the nominal and the real value, or the historic and the current day value. The common way to make this distinction is to divide the nominal value by a price index such as the CPI and call it the “real” amount, or say “in current dollars.” With the possible exception of the last ten to fifteen years, this technique creates a misconception of what was the relative worth on that amount in the past period.
This paper presents 12 definitions of how to describe relative worth in the past. Only three use a price deflator and most of the others produce a more significant comparator. These comparators are used on MeasuringWorth about 60,000 times a month.
University of Chicago
University of California-Santa Barbara
- N0 - General