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Survival in 19th century cities: The larger the city, the smaller your chances

  • Cain, Louis
  • Hong, Sok Chul

Using Union Army veterans' lifetime socioeconomic and health records, this essay finds a consistent and persistent hierarchy in survival rates and hazard ratios by urban size at and across three stages of life: birth, late adolescence, and death. This urban mortality penalty remains after controlling for variables associated with each individual veteran. The results of our geographical mobility analyses suggest that, with respect to these veterans, the search for an explanation should focus on late adolescence and adulthood as much as on early life. A complete explanation of the penalty requires a project of greater scope.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WFJ-4W8TW7C-1/2/da34aeda555c1bb005c0665537af4ad7
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 450-463

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:4:p:450-463
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Michael R. Haines, 2002. "Ethnic Differences in Demographic Behavior in the United States: Has There Been Convergence?," NBER Working Papers 9042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vinovskis, Maris A., 1972. "Mortality Rates and Trends in Massachusetts Before 1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 184-213, March.
  3. David M. Cutler & Grant Miller, 2006. "Water, Water Everywhere. Municipal Finance and Water Supply in American Cities," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 153-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Meeker, Edward, 1974. "The Social Rate of Return on Investment in Public Health, 1880–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 392-421, June.
  5. Hong, Sok Chul, 2007. "The Burden of Early Exposure to Malaria in the United States, 1850–1860: Malnutrition and Immune Disorders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 1001-1035, December.
  6. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1982. "Was the industrial revolution worth it? Disamenities and death in 19th century British towns," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 221-245, July.
  7. Chulhee Lee, 2003. "Prior Exposure to Disease and Later Health and Mortality. Evidence from Civil War Medical Records," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle: Evidence from the Past, pages 51-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, December.
  9. Sung Won Kang & Hugh Rockoff, 2007. "After Johnny Came Marching Home: The Political Economy of Veterans' Benefits in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 13223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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