Re: RARA-AVIS: Black Mask

From: Marc Seals (
Date: 14 Mar 2006


You are correct that this is a complicated issue. One site that helps to illustrate this is:

This site claims to make such relative value adjustments using several different criteria. I just finished teaching THE MALTESE FALCON. Students wanted to know how much money was truly being discussed when Spade is offered $10,000. I plugged in the amount and the original year of publication.

In 2004, $10,000.00 from 1929 is worth:
     $110,206.83 using the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
     $91,111.93 using the GDP deflator
     $350,858.47 using the unskilled wage
     $51,504.11 using the GDP per capita
     $1,132,654.44 using the relative share of GDP

Clearly, they have not updated the site in two years, but it still shows how such comparisons are not cut-and-dry. Still, I find the CPI to be the most useful, as it "tries to compare the cost of things the average household buys such as food, housing, transportation, medical services, etc."


_____________________ Marc Seals, PhD Department of English University of South Florida

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Michael Witty

  Dear Jeff,

> As a starting point 20 cents in 1925 is worth $2.27
> in 2006 dollars.

  How do you make calculations like this? On the
  surface it seems like it might be simple, but the more
  I think the more I am sure it is complicated.

  Regards, Mike.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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