Essays in Measures of Worth

These essays have been written to help better understand the concept of comparing relative worth over time, the use of the calculators or issues in creating the data sets. They include an explanation of the measures created and how they are used, as well as presentations of famous prices and other historic financial amounts in the context of these measures.


"Explaining the Measures of Worth"

"Measures of worth" depend on two things: (1) the type of transaction or asset, called the "subject" and (2) the appropriate comparable, called the "indicator." Which measure (that is, which of the alternative results) is best depends on a proper identification of both the subject and the indicator... read more

"Measuring Slavery in 2011"

Slavery in the United States 150 years ago was an institution that had a large impact on the economic, political and social fabric on the country. This paper gives an idea of its economic magnitude in today's values. Using MeasuringWorth indicators, the value in 2011 of $400 in 1850 (the average price of a slave that year) ranges from $45,000 to $134,000 ... read more

"Gold or the Stock Market -- The Parable of the Two Workers"

Americans have been talking a lot lately about needing to save more money, both individually and governmentally. Without getting into the national debt questions, it is worth thinking about how tricky the process of individual savings can be and how widely results can vary, even with the best of intentions... read more

"How the Post War United Kingdom's Annual Estimates of GDP Have Changed"

How fast did the United Kingdom real GDP grow between 1958 and 1959? By consulting the official numbers of the 51 UK annual government reports since those two years, you can choose 18 different values in a range between 2.66% to 4.68%. Which is correct?... read more


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