Living standards and mortality since the Middle Ages
Existing studies find little connection between living standards and mortality in England, but go back only to the sixteenth century. Using new data on inheritances, we extend estimates of mortality back to the mid-thirteenth century and find, by contrast, that deaths from unfree tenants to the nobility were strongly affected by harvests. Looking at a large sample of parishes after 1540, we find that the positive check had weakened considerably by 1650 even though real wages were falling, but persisted in London for another century despite its higher wages. In both cases the disappearance of the positive check coincided with the introduction of systematic poor relief, suggesting that government action played a role in breaking the link between harvest failure and mass mortality.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4|
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics
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.:
- Michael Anderson & Ronald Lee, 2002. "Malthus in state space: Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(2), pages 195-220.
- Robert W. Fogel, 1989. "Second Thoughts on the European Escape from Hunger: Famines, Price Elasticities, Entitlements, Chronic Malnutrition, and Mortality Rates," NBER Historical Working Papers 0001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201026. 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: (Nicolas Clifton)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.