Longevity and the Rise of the West: Lifespans of the European Elite, 800-1800

51 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014

See all articles by Neil Cummins

Neil Cummins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History

Date Written: September 16, 2014

Abstract

I analyze the age at death of 121,524 European nobles from 800 to 1800. Longevity began increasing long before 1800 and the Industrial Revolution, with marked increases around 1400 and again around 1650. Declines in violence contributed to some of this increase, but the majority must reflect other changes in individual behavior. The areas of North-West Europe which later witnessed the Industrial Revolution achieved greater longevity than the rest of Europe even by 1000 AD. The data suggest that the 'Rise of the West' originates before the Black Death.

Keywords: economic history, demography, mortality

JEL Classification: N33, J11, N00

Suggested Citation

Cummins, Neil, Longevity and the Rise of the West: Lifespans of the European Elite, 800-1800 (September 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2496939

Neil Cummins (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.neilcummins.com

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