Comment on Seat of Death and Terror

10 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2006

See all articles by Hans-Joachim Voth

Hans-Joachim Voth

University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Timothy Leunig

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

Abstract

Oxley finds that smallpox consistently reduced heights, but that the fall was not statistically significant outside London or for juvenile Londoners. We demonstrate that inappropriate subdivision of the data into small samples explains the lack of significance she obtains. Further analysis of Oxley's data shows that smallpox was a statistically significant cause of stunting, and that there were no differences in the effect by area. Juveniles exhibit greater stunting than adults, leading us to conclude that smallpox was not a proxy for overcrowding. That smallpox reduced height is important for anthropometric history: heights capture the effect of a truly awful disease.

Suggested Citation

Voth, Hans-Joachim and Leunig, Timothy, Comment on Seat of Death and Terror. Economic History Review, Vol. 59, No. 3, pp. 607-616, August 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=918365 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2006.00352.x

Hans-Joachim Voth

University of Zurich - UBS International Center of Economics in Society ( email )

Raemistrasse 71
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Timothy Leunig (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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