The Relative Importance of the Causes of Mortality Decline: A Review Essay

Stephen Kaduuli

York University


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, I30

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Date posted: August 15, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Kaduuli, Stephen, The Relative Importance of the Causes of Mortality Decline: A Review Essay (1988). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1006775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1006775

Contact Information

Stephen Charles Kaduuli (Contact Author)
York University ( email )
4700 Keele St.
York Lanes
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
HOME PAGE: http://www.yorku.ca
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