Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914

Roderick Floud, W. Fogel Robert, Bernard Harris, Sok Chul Hong

    Research output: Working paper

    Abstract

    In their different ways, both Thomas Malthus and Thomas McKeown raised fundamental questions about the relationship between food supply and the decline of mortality. Malthus argued that food supply was the most important constraint on population growth and McKeown claimed that an improvement in the population’s capacity to feed itself was the most important single cause of mortality change. This paper explores the implications of these arguments for our understanding of the causes of mortality decline in Britain between 1700 and 1914. It presents new estimates showing changes in the calorific value and composition of British diets in 1700, 1750, 1800 and 1850 and compares these with the official estimates published by the Royal Society in 1917. It then considers the implications of these data in the light of new arguments about the relationship between diet, work intensity and economic growth. However the paper is not solely concerned with the analysis of food-related issues. It also considers the ways in which sanitary reform may have contributed to the decline of mortality at the end of the nineteenth century and it pays particular attention to the impact of cohort-specific factors on the pattern of mortality decline from the mid-nineteenth century onwards
    LanguageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameNBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
    PublisherNational Bureau of Economic Research
    No.15875

    Fingerprint

    Wales
    England
    mortality
    Diet
    Mortality
    Health
    health
    Food Supply
    food supply
    nineteenth century
    Food Analysis
    cause
    Economic Development
    Population Growth
    population growth
    economic growth
    food
    reform
    Population
    Values

    Keywords

    • diet
    • health
    • work intensity
    • england
    • wales
    • 1700-1914

    Cite this

    Floud, R., Fogel Robert, W., Harris, B., & Hong, S. C. (2011). Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914. (NBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; No. 15875). Cambridge, MA.
    Floud, Roderick ; Fogel Robert, W. ; Harris, Bernard ; Hong, Sok Chul. / Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914. Cambridge, MA, 2011. (NBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; 15875).
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    Floud, R, Fogel Robert, W, Harris, B & Hong, SC 2011 'Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914' NBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, no. 15875, Cambridge, MA.

    Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914. / Floud, Roderick; Fogel Robert, W.; Harris, Bernard; Hong, Sok Chul.

    Cambridge, MA, 2011. (NBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; No. 15875).

    Research output: Working paper

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    Floud R, Fogel Robert W, Harris B, Hong SC. Diet, health and work intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914. Cambridge, MA. 2011. (NBER Papers in Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; 15875).