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Medical revolutions? The growth of medicine in England, 1660-1800

  • Teerapa Pirohakul
  • Patrick Wallis

This paper studies demand for commercial medical assistance in early modern England. We measure individual consumption of medical and nursing services using a new dataset of debts at death between c.1670-c.1790. Levels of consumption of medical services were high and stable in London from the 1680s. However, we find rapid growth in the provinces, in both the likelihood of using medical assistance, and the sums spent on it. The structure of medical services also shifted, with an increase in ‘general practice’, particularly by apothecaries. The expansion in medical services diffused from London, and was motivated by changing preferences, not wealth

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 56053.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:56053
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
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  1. Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  3. Broadberry, Stephen; Campbell, Bruce; Klein, Alexander; Overton, Mark; Van Leeuwen, Bas., 2010. "English Economic Growth: 1270 - 1870," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 35, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
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