Trevor J.O. Dick and John E. Floyd†
The decades before World War I were a remarkable period in Canada's economic history. Although settlement of the prairies began in earnest after 1896, the entire period back to 1871 witnessed substantial growth in per capita incomes. 1 By all accounts this growth accelerated after 1896 as western development responded to rising wheat prices, the development of red fife wheat and the chilled steel plow, and the lack of opportunities for further expansion on the northern subhumid plains. 2 Railroad expansion accelerated after the Canadian Pacific Railroad monopoly expired in 1888 and a diffused process of growth was evident in many areas of the country down to World War I. Canadian growth was accompanied throughout by
* This research was financed primarily by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Some of the work was completed while Dick was a visiting fellow at Harvard University and while Floyd was a visiting fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. We thank Gordon Anderson, Charles Calomiris, Michael Devereux, Gerry Dwyer, Stephen Easton, Barry Eichengreen, Alan Hynes, Greg Jump, Mervyn Lewis, Don McCloskey, Ron McKinnon, Angelo Melino, Rich Simes and seminar participants at the Australian National University, Northwestern University, La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Tasmania, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, the Seminar for the Application of Quantitative Methods to Canadian Economic History, and the 1988 Annual Cliometrics Conference. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Economics Association 9th World Congress in Athens in September 1989. Finally, we thank Larry Neal and an anonymous referee.
† From Explorations in Economic History, 1991, pp. 209-11, 213-22, 228-38, abridged. Copyright © 1991 Academic Press, Inc.