“Data to Die For”? Finnish Historical Household Budgets
Author(s): Sakari Saaritsa
JEL Classification: N01, N34
This essay charts the history, nature and uses of Finnish historical household budget data. Three perspectives are discussed: that of the changing interests of the state in producing knowledge on households; that of the multiple interests of various societal actors in shaping household behaviour through budgeting, including the households themselves; and that of reanalysis for modern economic history. In this last instance, the main focus is on behavioural, microeconometric perspectives. In the process, an overview of the sources available – “data to die for” – will be presented. To conclude, historically generated bias and future research potential of the sources are discussed.
Keywords: economic history, Finland, household budgets, methodology