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Price Quotations in Early United States Securities Markets, 1790-1860

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
  • Sylla, Richard E. (New York University. Stern School of Business)
  • Wilson, Jack W. (North Carolina State University)
  • Wright, Robert E. (New York University. Stern School of Business)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
banks; economic history; economic indicators; economic trends; market economy; price fluctuations; price indexes; price trends; prices; securities; stock market conditions; stock markets; stock prices; stocks
  • Abstract

    The dataset is a compilation of prices of public securities (equities and bonds) traded in nine United States securities markets and in London during the period between the United States Revolutionary and Civil Wars. The data were gathered by scanning early United States periodicals chronicling the period from 1786-1862. The data were concentrated on what were termed "runs" of securities quotations broken down by days, weeks, or months for each of the ten cities in the data set. Runs are series of bids and offer quotes for different securities and maturities. Within each part (market), the data were divided by issuer sectors or types. There may be some redundancy in the data, because when there was doubt about categorizing similar issues under a key code they were categorized under separate codes.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Alexandria Data
    • DS2: Baltimore Data
    • DS3: Boston Data
    • DS4: Charleston Data
    • DS5: London Data
    • DS6: New Orleans Data
    • DS7: New York Data
    • DS8: Norfolk Data
    • DS9: Philadelphia Data
    • DS10: Richmond Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1790 / 1860
    Time period: 1790--1860
  • 1997 / 2002
    Collection date: 1997--2002
Geographic Coverage
  • Alexandria
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charleston (South Carolina)
  • England
  • London
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Orleans
  • New York City
  • Norfolk
  • Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia
  • Richmond
  • South Carolina
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Virginia
Sampled Universe
Ten cities in the United States and England considered major securities markets during the time period of 1790-1860.
The data were compiled from reports about stock, equities, and bonds prices. Not every periodical and price was included. Instead, the included information chronicled price quotation trends and runs during the given time period.
Collection Mode
  • (1) The SAS and SPSS files replace the Microsoft Excel and Access files as the sources of data for this study. Microsoft Excel and Access files will not be released, so please ignore references to them in the documentation. (2) Some variables, for example, F2160a, contain no data but were included because they were in the original datasets. (3) Dates were formatted by the year followed by the month and then day. An example is 1798.0828 which would be read as August 28, 1798. (4) During data collection, if a price clearly indicated a fraction but either the numerator or the denominator was unclear, a fraction of one half, transcribed as 0.5, was assumed. (5) Quotations of equities may refer to price, in dollars, or percentage of par value. As a general rule, equities in the New York dataset were quoted as percentage of par value. (6) In the London dataset, most equity prices were quoted in pounds sterling. In some cases, like the Bank of the United States, prices were given in United States dollars. (7) Abrupt shifts in quoted prices may have been due to actual changes in stock market prices or may reflect changes in the stock's par value or in the basis of quotation.

Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (SES-9730692).
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 4053 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Geczy, Christopher, Samonov, Mikhail. 212 Years of Price Momentum (The World's Longest Backtest: 1801-2012). . 2013.
    • ID: 10.2139/ssrn.2292544 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Sylla, Richard E.; Wilson, Jack W.; Wright, Robert E. (2005): Price Quotations in Early United States Securities Markets, 1790-1860. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.