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Measuring Wellbeing - Hot off the press...


... by Oxford University Press

Households accounts...


... tell the story of wellbeing of the citizens in the world.

Growth Incidence Curves


Long-run growth does not benefit all to the same extent

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Historical Household Budgets

Two Centuries of Well-being, Poverty and Inequality Around the World.

The Historical Household Budgets (HHB) project is an investigation of the long-run evolution of living standards around the world on the basis of household budgets. The HHB database contains hundreds of thousands of family-level records, covers two centuries (1800-today), and embraces the five continents of the globe. HHB researchers are interested in monetary indicators – income, wealth and expenditure, wages and prices – as well as in non-monetary dimensions of well-being, such as health and education outcomes, labor force participation, dwelling characteristics, and many others. This website is the official HHB hub, where data and sources are housed and made available, innovative methods and new findings are publicized. The writing of a new history of the well-being of world citizens has begun: all scholars are invited to join the HHB project and contribute to the on-going research. Inquire within.

Household Budgets Map


We have just updated our database and added new budgets. Browse the HHB map!

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Latest news

The HHB community at work

March 11, 2017

    Connecting experts to promote innovative research on household level data  is a primary mandate of the HHB project. Yesterday the HHB team was pleased to welcome Prof. Sakari Saaritsa (U. of Helsinki) and work with him on a most amazing survey for early 1900s Finland. More on this collaboration soon.

    Measuring Wellbeing. A history of Italian living standards

    March 8, 2017

      The HHB project is thrilled to announce the publication the book "Measuring Wellbeing. A history of Italian living standards", by Giovanni Vecchi, Professor of Economics at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and HHB principal investigator. According to Jeffrey G. Williamson, Professor of Economics, emeritus, Harvard University, "This amazing and novel book on Italian inequality, poverty, and living standards since unification has no competitor. Certainly not in English, which is used here with great elegance. And perhaps not even in the whole EU. Anyone involved in policy debate over inequality and poverty in modern Italy and the EU must read ...

      Grouped data in French Africa historical surveys

      Feb. 6, 2017

        The HHB project always aims at extending the boundaries of actual microdata knowledge and techniques! We are now working on grouped data from a collection of Ivorian historical sources testing creative methods to write a brand new history of the well-being of households in francophone Africa. One of our studies is the 1956 household budget survey of Abidjan’s workers directed by Bernard Lonchampt. The survey, with its detailed categorisation of expenditures and wealth of cultural information, is described by the author as “the first of its kind to have been carried out in French Africa”.

        Culture, values and household budgets

        Jan. 18, 2017

          The HHB team will meet today with researchers led by Prof. Sebastiano Bavetta (University of Palermo). The plan is to discuss the use of historical household budgets as a source for investigating values, culture and social norms throughout history. Take a look at the programme

          In memory of Tony Atkinson

          Jan. 3, 2017

            It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Professor Tony Atkinson, Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Centennial Professor at The London School of Economics and member of the HHB Advisory Board. Few scholars can claim to have had a greater impact on their discipline than Tony Atkinson did. He was a model of dedication and integrity for all of us. At this time of sorrow, our thoughts are with Professor Atkinson's family.

            The HHB Working Paper series now on RePEc

            Nov. 30, 2016

              You can now download the HHB-WPS from REPEC services. The project is proud to be part of the  2Million+ pieces that contribute to the dissemination of on-going research in economics. Read us on IDEAS, EconPapers etc..
              http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/hbuwpaper/
              https://ideas.repec.org/s/hbu/wpaper.html

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