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Life Under Pressure: Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

Author

Listed:
  • Tommy Bengtsson

    () (Institute for the Study of Labor)

  • Cameron Campbell

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • James Z. Lee

    () (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This highly original book -- the first in a series analyzing historical population behavior in Europe and Asia -- pioneers a new approach to the comparative analysis of societies in the past. Using techniques of event history analysis, the authors examine 100,000 life histories in 100 rural communities in Western Europe and Asia to analyze the demographic response to social and economic pressures. In doing so they challenge the accepted Eurocentric Malthusian view of population processes and demonstrate that population behavior has not been as uniform as previously thought -- that it has often been determined by human agency, particularly social structure and cultural practice. The authors examine the complex relationship between human behavior and social and economic environment, analyzing age, gender, family, kinship, social class and social organization, climate, food prices, and real wages to compare mortality responses to adversity. Their research at the individual, household, and community levels challenges the previously accepted characterizations of social and economic behavior in Europe and Asia in the past. The originality of the analysis as well as the geographic breadth and historical depth of the data make Life Under Pressure a significant advance in the field of historical demography. Its findings will be of interest to scholars in economics, environmental studies, demography, history, and sociology as well as the general reader interested in these subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommy Bengtsson & Cameron Campbell & James Z. Lee, 2004. "Life Under Pressure: Mortality and Living Standards in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025515, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262025515
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Loren Brandt & Debin Ma & Thomas G. Rawski, 2014. "From Divergence to Convergence: Reevaluating the History behind China's Economic Boom," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 45-123, March.
    2. Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, 2014. "The historical fertility transition at the micro level," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(17), pages 493-534, February.
    3. repec:eee:ecomod:v:227:y:2012:i:c:p:18-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
    5. Timothy W. Guinnane & Sheilagh C. Ogilvie, 2013. "A Two-Tiered Demographic System: "Insiders" and "Outsiders" in Three Swabian Communities, 1558-1914," Working Papers 1021, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    6. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2007. "Was Malthus right? A VAR analysis of economic and demographic interactions in pre-industrial England," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 99-121, April.
    7. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Doblhammer, Gabriele & Christensen, Kaare, 2009. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1591-1598, May.
    8. Deschacht, Nick & Winter, Anne, 2015. "Rural crisis and rural exodus? Local migration dynamics during the crisis of the 1840s in Flanders (Belgium)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-52.
    9. Martin Ravallion & Michael Lokshin, 2007. "Lasting Impacts of Indonesia’s Financial Crisis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 27-56.
    10. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2015. "Pre-industrial population and economic growth: Was there a Malthusian mechanism in Sweden?," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 17, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
    11. repec:eee:thpobi:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:179-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:ecomod:v:241:y:2012:i:c:p:54-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:thpobi:v:73:y:2008:i:4:p:473-482 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Campbell, Cameron D. & Lee, James Z., 2009. "Long-term mortality consequences of childhood family context in Liaoning, China, 1749-1909," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1641-1648, May.
    15. repec:eee:thpobi:v:74:y:2008:i:2:p:147-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Dong, Hao & Lee, James Z., 2014. "Kinship matters: Long-term mortality consequences of childhood migration, historical evidence from northeast China, 1792–1909," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 274-283.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; living standards; europe; asia; behavior; history;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East

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