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Differences in Regional Prices: The United States, 1851–1880

Philip Coelho () and James F. Shepherd

The Journal of Economic History, 1974, vol. 34, issue 3, 551-591

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine cost-of-living differences among the various regions of the United States during a thirty-year interval of the nineteenth century. We do this by constructing regional price indexes for the years 1851–1880 using two different base years for pur calculations, 1860 and 1880. The results indicate that the cost of living differed substantially among regions, and specifically that it was lower in the American Midwest than in the East. Although one might have expected these differences among regions to narrow as regional and national markets developed and improved, we find no evidence that they did during this thirty-year period.

Date: 1974
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