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The health cost of living in a city: The case of France at the end of the 19th century

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  • Kesztenbaum, Lionel
  • Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent

Abstract

Despite a long standing debate over urban living conditions during industrialization, the impact of rural-urban migrations on health and mortality remains an open question. We observe both mortality and geographical mobility in a large longitudinal dataset of French males and show that rural-urban migrants benefited from clear advantages over those who already lived in the city. However, this benefit fades in a few years. Further we find no evidence of a spike in mortality among rural migrants as they encountered the more severe disease environment of cities, instead it seems their initially superior physical human capital was depleted over time.

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  • Kesztenbaum, Lionel & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2011. "The health cost of living in a city: The case of France at the end of the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 207-225, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:48:y:2011:i:2:p:207-225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan J Adams, 2017. "Urbanization, Long-Run Growth, and the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 001001, University of Florida, Department of Economics.
    2. W. Walker Hanlon, 2015. "Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 21647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hannaliis Jaadla & Allan Puur & Kaja Rahu, 2017. "Socioeconomic and cultural differentials in mortality in a late 19th century urban setting: A linked records study from Tartu, Estonia, 1897-1900," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(1), pages 1-40, January.
    4. Lazuka, Volha & Quaranta, Luciana & Bengtsson, Tommy, 2015. "Fighting Infectious Disease: Evidence from Sweden 1870-1940," IZA Discussion Papers 9313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Lionel Kesztenbaum & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2014. "Income versus Sanitation; Mortality Decline in Paris, 1880-1914," Working Papers halshs-01018594, HAL.
    6. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2015. "Death and the Media: Asymmetries in Infectious Disease Reporting During the Health Transition," NBER Working Papers 21073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Driva, Anastasia & Bauernschuster, Stefan & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Bismarck’s Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145577, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Lionel Kesztenbaum & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2014. "Income versus Sanitation; Mortality Decline in Paris, 1880-1914," PSE Working Papers halshs-01018594, HAL.
    9. Frederick Ato Armah & Mengieng Ung & Sheila A. Boamah & Isaac Luginaah & Gwyn Campbell, 2017. "Out of the frying pan into the fire? Urban penalty of the poor and multiple barriers to climate change adaptation in Cambodia and Tanzania," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(1), pages 69-86, March.
    10. Leah Platt Boustan & Devin Bunten & Owen Hearey, 2013. "Urbanization in the United States, 1800-2000," NBER Working Papers 19041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    Migration Health Differential mortality Rural-urban gap France;

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