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The Relevance of Malthus for the Study of Mortality Today: Long-Run Influences on Health, Mortality, Labor Force Participation, and Population Growth

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  • Robert W. Fogel

Abstract

This paper argues that the secular decline in mortality, which began during the eighteenth century, is still in progress and will probably continue for another century or more. The evolutionary perspective presented in this paper focuses not only on the environment, which from the standpoint of human health and prosperity has become much more favorable than it was in Malthus's time, but also on changes in human physiology over the past three centuries which affect both economic and biomedical processes. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the interconnectedness of events and process over the life cycle and, by implication, between generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "The Relevance of Malthus for the Study of Mortality Today: Long-Run Influences on Health, Mortality, Labor Force Participation, and Population Growth," NBER Historical Working Papers 0054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0054
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    Cited by:

    1. Shao-Hsun Keng & Wallace Huffman, 2010. "Binge drinking and labor market success: a longitudinal study on young people," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 303-322, January.
    2. F. Portrait & R. Alessie & D. Deeg, 2008. "Do early life and contemporaneous macro-conditions explain health at older ages? An application to functional limitations of Dutch older individuals," Working Papers 08-11, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. Ulimwengu, John M., 2009. "Farmers' health status, agricultural efficiency, and poverty in rural Ethiopia: A stochastic production frontier approach," IFPRI discussion papers 868, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Ben-David, Dan, 1998. "Convergence clubs and subsistence economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 155-171, February.
    5. Gong, Liutang & Li, Hongyi & Wang, Dihai, 2012. "Health investment, physical capital accumulation, and economic growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1104-1119.
    6. France Portrait & Rob Alessie & Dorly Deeg, 2010. "Do early life and contemporaneous macroconditions explain health at older ages?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 617-642, March.
    7. Alejandro de la Fuente, 2007. "Climate Shocks and their Impact on Assets," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2007-23, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    8. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition," NBER Working Papers 8685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mayer, David, 2000. "On the Role of Health in the Economic and Demographic Dynamics of Brazil, 1980-1995," Arbetsrapport 2000:4, Institute for Futures Studies.
    10. Gu, Danan & Zhang, Zhenmei & Zeng, Yi, 2009. "Access to healthcare services makes a difference in healthy longevity among older Chinese adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 210-219, January.
    11. Bruckner, Tim A. & Catalano, Ralph A., 2009. "Infant mortality and diminished entelechy in three European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1617-1624, May.
    12. Liutang Gong & Hongyi Li & Dihai Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2010. "Health, Taxes, and Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(1), pages 73-94, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Dihai Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "The Fogel Approach to Health and Growth," CEMA Working Papers 520, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.

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