Living Standards and Mortality Since the Middle Ages

24 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014

See all articles by Morgan Kelly

Morgan Kelly

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Economics

Cormac O'Grada

University College Dublin (UCD)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

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 living standards. Looking at a large sample of parishes after 1540, we find that the positive check had weakened considerably by 1650 even though living standards were static at best, 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 may have played a role in breaking the link between harvest failure and mass mortality.

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Morgan and O'Grada, Cormac, Living Standards and Mortality Since the Middle Ages (May 2014). The Economic History Review, Vol. 67, Issue 2, pp. 358-381, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2422628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0289.12023

Morgan Kelly

University College Dublin (UCD) - Department of Economics ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4, Dublin 4
Ireland
+353 1 706 8611 (Phone)
+353 1 283 0068 (Fax)

Cormac O'Grada

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4, 4
Ireland

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
530
PlumX Metrics