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Longevity and the rise of the West: lifespans of the European elite, 800-1800

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  • Cummins, Neil

Abstract

I analyse the age at death of 121,524 European nobles from 800 to 1800. Longevity began increasing long before 1800 and the Industrial Revolution, with marked increases around 1400 and again around 1650. Declines in violence contributed to some of this increase, but the majority must reflect other changes in individual behavior. The areas of North-West Europe which later witnessed the Industrial Revolution achieved greater longevity than the rest of Europe even by 1000AD. The data suggest that the `Rise of the West' originates before the Black Death.

Suggested Citation

  • Cummins, Neil, 2014. "Longevity and the rise of the West: lifespans of the European elite, 800-1800," Economic History Working Papers 60555, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:60555
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60555/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2015. "The longevity of famous people from Hammurabi to Einstein," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 263-303, September.
    2. repec:bla:ehsrev:v:71:y:2018:i:4:p:1073-1099 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. David de la Croix, 2015. "Did Longer Lives Buy Economic Growth? From Malthus to Lucas and Ben-Porath," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortality; Health; Nobility; Divergence;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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