Standard of living

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Standard of living

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1nnii
Mar 30, 2007, 6:18pm

Could anyone recommend economic, historical, or anthropological books on the standard of living over time? I'm interested in how much wealth people have had in different societies and times.

2AsYouKnow_Bob
Mar 30, 2007, 7:24pm

I'm not sure what level you're aiming for, but Carlo M.Cipolla's The economic history of world population is one place to start.

3nnii
Apr 1, 2007, 5:19pm

Thanks, I'll look into that one.

4AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Apr 1, 2007, 6:01pm

Economist Brad De Long -- who - not entirely coincidentally - is also at Berkeley (as was Cipolla) -- has given some thought to this question.

(If this url doesn't break anything...), below is an html link to the Google cache of a .doc file of De Long's paper called "Estimates of World GDP, from 1 million BC - Present".

The short answer De Long gives is that "per capita GDP per human" was roughly $200 right up until the Middle Ages ($115 in constant 1990 dollars) - mostly as 1500-2000 calories of food per person per day.

http://72.14.209.104/custom?q=cache:Q0DIwRZvmhkJ:
www.j-bradford-delong.net/TCEH/1998_Draft/World_GDP/
Estimating_World_GDP.doc+human+population+kremer+
estimate&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=pub-0234211684057465