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What do people die of during famines : the Great Irish Famine in comparative perspective

Author

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  • Joel Mokyr
  • Cormac Ó Gráda

Abstract

The Irish Famine killed over a million people who would not have died otherwise. The nosologies published by the 1851 Irish census provide a rich source for the causes of death during these catastrophic years. This source is extremely rich and detailed, but also inaccurate and deficient to the point where many scholars have given up using it. In this article we try to make adjustments to the death-by-cause tabulations and provide more accurate ones. These tables are then used to analyse the reasons why so many people died and why modern famines tend to be less costly in terms of human life.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2002. "What do people die of during famines : the Great Irish Famine in comparative perspective," Open Access publications 10197/449, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:oapubs:10197/449
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/449
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    Cited by:

    1. Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2014. "Living standards and mortality since the middle ages," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(2), pages 358-381, May.
    2. Bhagowalia, Priya & Chen, Susan E. & Masters, William A., 2011. "Effects and determinants of mild underweight among preschool children across countries and over time," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 66-77, January.
    3. R. W. Hoyle, 2010. "Famine as agricultural catastrophe: the crisis of 1622-4 in east Lancashire," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(4), pages 974-1002, November.
    4. Matthias Blum, 2013. "War, food rationing, and socioeconomic inequality in Germany during the First World War," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(4), pages 1063-1083, November.
    5. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2007. "Famine demography," Working Papers 200721, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2007. "The ripple that drowns? Twentieth-century famines in China and India as economic history," Working Papers 200719, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    7. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2007. "Making Famine History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 5-38, March.
    8. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2011. "Deadly Anchor: Gender Bias under Russian Colonization of Kazakhstan, 1898-1908," Working Papers 1111, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    9. Blum, Matthias, 2011. "Government decisions before and during the First World War and the living standards in Germany during a drastic natural experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 556-567.
    10. Aldashev, Gani & Guirkinger, Catherine, 2012. "Deadly anchor: Gender bias under Russian colonization of Kazakhstan," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 399-422.
    11. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2007. "Yardsticks for workhouses during the Great Famine," Working Papers 200708, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    12. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2008. "The ripple that drowns? Twentieth-century famines in China and India as economic history-super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(s1), pages 5-37, August.

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