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The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800

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  • Richard A. Easterlin

Abstract

By many measures a revolution in living conditions is sweeping the world. Most people today are better fed, clothed, and house than their predecessors two centuries ago. They are healthier, live longer, and are better educated. Women's lives are less centered on reproduction, and political democracy has gained a foothold. Current international differences in a number of standard of living indicators are significantly correlated. Historically, however, these improvements often started at quite different times, suggesting that the determinants of change in different aspects of the standard of living are varied.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:7-26 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.1.7
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.14.1.7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert William Fogel, 1993. "New Sources and New Techniques for the Study of Secular Trends in Nutritional Status, Health, Mortality, and the Process of Aging," NBER Historical Working Papers 0026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 369-395.
    3. Ronald Lee & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "Will Aging Baby Boomers Bust the Federal Budget?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, January.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:53:y:1959:i:01:p:69-105_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Easterly, William, 1999. "Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-276, September.
    7. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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