Coffee, consumer choice, and the consequences of Columbus
Jonathan Hersh Hans-Joachim Voth 3 September 2009
"There is a broad consensus that living standards stagnated for millennia before the Industrial Revolution. This column attributes that conclusion to a measurement error in real wage indices. The introduction of new goods such as coffee, sugar, and tea to England in the 1700s and 1800s dramatically raised living standards – perhaps more than 15%."