Death and the City: Chicago's Mortality Transition, 1850-1925
Between 1850 and 1925, the crude death rate in Chicago fell by 60 percent, driven by reductions in infectious disease rates and infant and child mortality. What lessons might be drawn from the mortality transition in Chicago, and American cities more generally? What were the policies that had the greatest effect on infectious diseases and childhood mortality? Were there local policies that slowed the mortality transition? If the transition to low mortality in American cities was driven by forces largely outside the control of local governments (higher per capita incomes or increases in the amount and quality of calories available to urban dwellers from rising agricultural productivity), then expensive public health projects, such as the construction of public water and sewer systems, probably should have taken a back seat to broader national policies to promote overall economic growth. The introduction of pure water explains between 30 and 50 percent of Chicago%u2019s mortality decline, and that other interventions, such as the introduction of the diphtheria antitoxin and milk inspection had much smaller effects. These findings have important implications for current policy debates and economic development strategies.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dora Costa, 2000.
"Understanding the twentieth-century decline in chronic conditions among older men,"
Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(1), pages 53-72, February.
- Dora L. Costa, 1998. "Understanding the Twentieth Century Decline in Chronic Conditions Among Older Men," NBER Working Papers 6859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lee, Lung-fei & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Pitt, Mark M., 1997. "The effects of improved nutrition, sanitation, and water quality on child health in high-mortality populations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 209-235, March.
- David M. Cutler & Grant Miller, 2004. "The Role of Public Health Improvements in Health Advances: The 20th Century United States," NBER Working Papers 10511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11427. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.