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Making Famine History

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  • Cormac Ó Gráda

Abstract

This paper reviews recent contributions to the economics and economic history of famine. It provides a context for the history of famine in the twentieth century, which is unique. During the century, war and totalitarianism produced more famine deaths than did overpopulation and economic backwardness; yet by its end, economic growth and medical technology had almost eliminated the threat of major famines. Today's high-profile famines are "small" by historical standards. Topics analyzed include the role played by food markets in mitigating or exacerbating famine, the globalization of disaster relief, the enhanced role of human agency and entitlements, distinctive demography of certain twentieth-century famines, and future prospects for "making famine history."

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 45 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 5-38

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:45:y:2007:i:1:p:5-38

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.45.1.5
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  1. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
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  14. Gr da, Cormac & Chevet, Jean-Michel, 2002. "Famine And Market In Ancien R Gime France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 706-733, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Markets versus Government Regulation: What are the Tail Risks? by Mark Harrison
    by Mark Harrison in Mark Harrison's blog on 2012-10-15 11:22:31
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Cited by:
  1. Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "Amartya Sen’s socio-economic analysis of famines: scope, limitations and extensions (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2009-25, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  2. Dennis Tao Yang, 2007. "China's Agricultural Crisis and Famine of 1959-61: A Survey and Comparison to Soviet Famines," Working Papers e07-4, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Jacks, David S., 2011. "Foreign wars, domestic markets: England, 1793–1815," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 277-311, August.
  4. Araujo, Claudio & Araujo-Bonjean, Catherine & Brunelin, Stéphanie, 2012. "Alert at Maradi: Preventing Food Crises by Using Price Signals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1882-1894.
  5. Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter, 2010. "Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-39, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Robin Burgess & Dave Donaldson, 2012. "Can openness to trade reduce income volatility? Evidence from colonial India's famine era," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
  8. Carleton Schade & David Pimentel, 2010. "Population crash: prospects for famine in the twenty-first century," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 245-262, April.
  9. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2010. "Long-run effects on longevity of a nutritional shock early in life: The Dutch Potato famine of 1846-1847," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 617-629, September.
  10. Enkelejda Havari & Franco Peracchi, 2011. "Childhood circumstances and adult outcomes: Evidence from World War II," EIEF Working Papers Series 1115, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.

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