The Relative Importance of the Causes of Mortality Decline: A Review Essay
York University; Africa Leadership Institute
This essay looks at and critiques analyses of the causes of mortality decline by three scholars namely: P.E Razzell (1974) with his paper An Interpretation of the Modern Rise of Population in Europe-A Critique.; Thomas McKeown (1976) with his book The Modern Rise of Population; and Abdel Omran (1977) with his article Epidemiologic Transition: Theory. Razzell believes inoculation against smallpox was the main cause of mortality decline while McKeown believes that the virulence of the organisms diminished and the improvements in the environment are what led to the decline. Both of them base their arguments on data from eighteenth and nineteenth century England and Wales. Omran, on the other hand, theorizes about the three main stages of the epidemiologic transition. The essay looks at their arguments and counterarguments and critiques them.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: causes, mortality decline, health
JEL Classification: I12, I19, I30working papers series
Date posted: August 15, 2007
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