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Death and Gender in Victorian England and Wales: Comparisons with Contemporary Developing Countries


  • McNay, K.
  • Humphries, J.
  • Klasen, S.


Age-specific death rates for males and females are compared for a sample of mid- Victorian registration districts. Excess female mortality is defined relative to the normal relationship between male and female mortality observed in the data, and then modelled as the outcome of economic, demographic, social and environmental factors. The relationships are investigated statistically using cross-section ecological regression analysis. Excess female mortality in Victorian Britain is found in different age groups compared with its counterpart in contemporary poor countries and appears to be related to a different nexus of economic valuation, social standing and bargaining power. We see less pressure to discriminate against female children but a cultural and familial context which identified motherhood with sacrifice.

Suggested Citation

  • McNay, K. & Humphries, J. & Klasen, S., 1998. "Death and Gender in Victorian England and Wales: Comparisons with Contemporary Developing Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9801, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:9801

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    Cited by:

    1. Klasen, Stephan & Wink, Claudia, 2001. "A Turning Point in Gender Bias in Mortality?," Discussion Papers in Economics 23, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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