Living Standards and Mortality since the Middle Ages
AbstractExisting studies find little connection between living standards and mortality in England, but go back only to the sixteenth century. Using new data on inheritances, we extend estimates of mortality back to the mid-thirteenth century and find, by contrast, that deaths from unfree tenants to the nobility were strongly affected by harvests. Looking at a large sample of parishes after 1540, we find that the positive check had weakened considerably by 1650 even though real wages were falling, but persisted in London for another century despite its higher wages. In both cases the disappearance of the positive check coincided with the introduction of systematic poor relief, suggesting that government action played a role in breaking the link between harvest failure and mass mortality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201026.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 28 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
economic growth; economic history; Malthus; demography;
Other versions of this item:
- Kelly, Morgan & O'Gráda, Cormac, 2010. "Living Standards and Mortality since the Middle Ages," CEPR Discussion Papers 8036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2010-10-16 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2010-10-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Anderson & Ronald Lee, 2002. "Malthus in state space: Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 195-220.
- Robert W. Fogel, 1989. "Second Thoughts on the European Escape from Hunger: Famines, Price Elasticities, Entitlements, Chronic Malnutrition, and Mortality Rates," NBER Historical Working Papers 0001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Was Malthus wrong about mortality?
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-11-09 15:49:00
- Two New Papers On Malthus
by Mark McG in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-12-05 18:39:00
- Alan Fernihough, 2010.
"Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy 1650-1881,"
201037, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Alan Fernihough, 2013. "Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy, 1650–1881," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 311-332, February.
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