There two missions of this site. The first is to make available to the public the highest quality and most reliable historical data on important economic aggregates, with particular emphasis on "nominal (current-price) measures, as well as real (constant-price) measures. The second is to provide carefully designed calculators (using these data) that explain the many issues involved in making value comparison over time.
The data have been created using the highest standards of the fields of economics and history, and they are rigorously refereed by the most distinguished researchers in the fields. Beginning with the United States and United Kingdom and following with Australia, Japan and China, we will continue to add series from other countries using the same high standard.
The emphasis on nominal measures distinguishes this site. This attention is important because to comprehend a past transaction or asset, one must begin with the contemporary value of the item. To make this valuation meaningful, it must be measured against the value of the appropriate economic indicator in that year. To understand the valuation from another year's perspective, one must carry that measure forward against the changing value of the indicator.
MeasuringWorth was founded in 2006 by Lawrence Officer and Samuel Williamson as an outgrowth of their respective academic research concerning alternative ways to compare the relative worth of things. Prior to founding this site they had developed several "comparators" on the website EH.Net. Their mission in starting MeasuringWorth was to exclusively focus on and explore the question of how to measure relative worth. We continue to add to it and hope that our essay Measures of Worth and the User Guide are of help.
Over the last seven years the two of us have carried out research on alternative ways to compare the relative worth of things. During that time we developed several "comparators" on the web site EH.Net. In the summer of 2006 we started this site dedicated exclusively to exploring the question of how to measure worth.
Professor Williamson continues to maintain and revise the site. In the past two years, he has worked to add essays, help create tutorials, update and add data sets, and create a stand-alone smartphone app called “The Time Traveler’s Investment Calculator.”
If you would like to support our work, please make a contribution so we can continue this valuable endeavor. If you are interested in becoming our sponsor, please contact one of us.
Board of Advisors
Jeremy Atack, Vanderbilt University
Stephen Broadberry, London School of Economics
Louis Cain, Loyola University Chicago
Greg Clark, University of California, Davis
Lee Craig, North Carolina State University
Price Fishback, University of Arizona
C. Knick Harley, University of Oxford
Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois
Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University
Larry Neal, University of Illinois
Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Universidad Carlos III
Richard Sutch, University of California, Riverside
Richard Sylla, New York University
Robert Whaples, Wake Forest University
Jeffrey Williamson, Harvard University
Gavin Wright, Stanford University
Samuel H. Williamson - President
Dan DeGreef - System Operator and Web Master
Jeffrey Moy - Adminstrative Assistant