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Grain prices and mortality in Vienna, 1648-1754

  • Julia Casutt
  • Ulrich Woitek

Class specific mortality in 17th and 18th Century Vienna shows a cyclical pattern which is related to grain price cycles in the 5-10 years range. This relationship is not stable over time. Applying spectral analysis based on time-varying VARs, it can be shown that at the beginning of the observation period, comovement of grain prices and mortality is considerably high in areas populated by lower classes of society. This comovement cannot be found in richer areas of the city and vanishes over time for the entire population of the city.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 461.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:461
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  1. Sunder, Marco & Woitek, Ulrich, 2005. "Boom, bust, and the human body: Further evidence on the relationship between height and business cycles," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 450-466, December.
  2. Croux, Christophe & Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "A Measure of Comovement for Economic Variables: Theory and Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bauernfeind, Walter & Woitek, Ulrich, 1996. "Agrarian Cycles in Germany 1339-1670: A Spectral Analysis of Grain Prices and Output in Nuremberg," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 459-478, October.
  4. A'Hearn, Brian & Woitek, Ulrich, 2001. "More international evidence on the historical properties of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-346, April.
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