HHB Sources


HB researchers are engaged in systematic bibliographic research, carried out in synergy with historians, focused on identifying sources containing household budgets.

Such an undertaking has been done before. In 1935, the United States Department of Agriculture published a report under the title “Studies of family living in the United States and other countries: an analysis of material and method.” Carle C. Zimmerman, associate professor at Harvard University, and Faith M. Williams, chief economist of the Bureau of Home Economics, coordinated a team of 15 scholars from prestigious US universities. They produced an impressive study with more than 1,500 bibliographic references on household budgets covering 52 countries scattered around the world (Williams and Zimmerman 1932). Most references point to household budgets collected between the 1850s and the early 1930s (Table 2).

Other compilations – such as Bulletin de la Statistique Générale de la France (1911-1933, 1937, 1945, 1948-1950, 1953), ILO (1926), Halbwachs (1913, 1933), Staehle (1934, 1935) and others – point to additional sources with thousands of additional household budgets.

Expanding the scope of the present study to the world scale is a long-term task, but will hopefully allow us to explore the long-run dynamics of income and poverty for countries for which, to the best of our knowledge, little if anything is known. This is the case of most developing countries.

Work in progress Coming Soon

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