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Overcrowding and Infant Mortality: A Tale of Two Cities

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  • Cage, R A
  • Foster, John

Abstract

Using detailed historical data for the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, evidence is found in support of the hypothesis that overcrowding is a significant cause of infant mortality. We distinguish between voluntary overcrowding (due to the budgetary choices of poor families) and involuntary overcrowding (due to market failure in the provision of an adequate supply of appropriate housing). We found that, over the fifty year period, 1911-61, Glasgow's infant mortality rate was significantly higher than that of Edinburgh, despite their close geographical proximity, and that a large part of the difference can be attributed to involuntary overcrowding in the first half of the twentieth century. We argue that this was due to the distinctly different housing policies adopted by the two cities, with important lessons for present day public authorities. Copyright 2002 by Scottish Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 49 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 129-49

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:49:y:2002:i:2:p:129-49

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Cited by:
  1. Bailey, Roy E & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2014. "Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2009. "Fertility Decline and the Heights of Children in Britain, 1886-1938," IZA Discussion Papers 4306, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Hatton, Timothy J., 2011. "How have Europeans Grown so Tall?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8490, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hatton, Timothy J. & Bray, Bernice E., 2010. "Long run trends in the heights of European men, 19th-20th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 405-413, December.

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