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Autarchy, market disintegration, and health: the mortality and nutritional crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937

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  • Baten, Jorg
  • Wagner, Andrea

Abstract

We compare trends in mortality, nutritional status and food supply to other living standard indicators for the early years of the Nazi period. We find that Germany experienced a substantial increase in mortality rates in most age groups in the mid-1930s, even relative to those of 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression. Expenditures on rearmament grew at the expense of public health measures. Food imports were curtailed, and prices of many agricultural products were controlled. There is ample evidence that this set of economic policies had an adverse effect on the health of the population.
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  • Baten, Jorg & Wagner, Andrea, 2003. "Autarchy, market disintegration, and health: the mortality and nutritional crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-28, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:1-28
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    1. Ritschl Albrecht & Spoerer Mark, 1997. "Das Bruttosozialprodukt in Deutschland nach den amtlichen Volkseinkommens- und Sozialproduktsstatistiken 1901-1995," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 38(2), pages 27-54, December.
    2. Gerhard Bry, 1960. "Wages in Germany, 1871-1945," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_60-1, January.
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    4. Dasgupta, Partha & Weale, Martin, 1992. "On measuring the quality of life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 119-131, January.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry & Hatton, Tim, 1988. "Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7bw188gk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    6. repec:cdl:indrel:4792 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Blum & Matthias Strebel, 2015. "Max Weber and the First World War: Protestant and Catholic living standards in Germany, 1915-1919," Economics Working Papers 15-04, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    2. Schwekendiek, Daniel, 2008. "The North Korean standard of living during the famine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 596-608.
    3. Jörg Baten & Andreas Böhm, 2010. "Children's Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994-2006," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 1-24, February.
    4. Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Martínez Carrion, José Miguel, 2012. "The comovement between height and some economic development indicators in Spain," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 26464, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    5. Jun, Seong Ho & Lewis, James B. & Schwekendiek, Daniel, 2017. "The biological standard of living in pre-modern Korea: Determinants of height of militia recruits during the Chosŏn dynasty," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 104-110.
    6. Blum, Matthias, 2011. "Government decisions before and during the First World War and the living standards in Germany during a drastic natural experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 556-567.
    7. Blum, Matthias & Hanley, Nicholas & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2013. "Genuine savings and future well-being in Germany, 1850-2000," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2013-13, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    8. Ayuda, María-Isabel & Puche-Gil, Javier, 2014. "Determinants of height and biological inequality in Mediterranean Spain, 1859–1967," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 101-119.
    9. Mackenbach, Johan P., 2013. "Political conditions and life expectancy in Europe, 1900–2008," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 134-146.
    10. Jörg Baten & Andreas Böhm, 2008. "Trends of Children’s Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994 – 2006," CESifo Working Paper Series 2189, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. María-Dolores, Ramón & Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel, 2011. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain, 1850-1958," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 30-44, January.
    12. Blum, Matthias & Strebel, Matthias, 2016. "Max Weber and the First World War: Protestant and Catholic living standards in Germany, 1915–1919," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 699-719, September.

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