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 comparators 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.

"Defining Measures of Worth -- Most are better than the CPI"

“The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What everything is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself... read more

"Measuring Slavery in 2020 Dollars"

Slavery in the United States 160 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 2016 of $400 in 1850 (the average price of a slave that year) ranges from $12,500 to $205,000... read more

"The Relative Performance of the Economy under the Presidents of the United States from 1900 to 2023-- Updated June 15 2024"

Economic performance has been an important issue in Presidential elections for decade. Voters look to economic variables to gain some insight into the incumbent's record. The health of our economy, however, is determined by monetary and fiscal policy, external shocks, and even bubbles. The economy faced by an incumbent president, good or bad, is the result of events that occurred before as well as during his term of office... 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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