NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Sok Chul Hong

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Books

The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700
with Roderick Floud, Robert W. Fogel, Bernard Harris
Published in June 2011 by Cambridge University Press
in NBER Book Series Long-Term Factors in Economic Development

Working Papers and Chapters

May 2014Food for Thought: Comparing Estimates of Food Availability in England and Wales, 1700-1914
with Bernard Harris, Roderick Floud: w20177
In The Changing Body (Cambridge University Press and NBER, 2011), the authors presented a series of estimates showing the number of calories available for human consumption in England and Wales at various points in time between 1700 and 1909/13. The current paper corrects an error in those figures but also compares the estimates of The Changing Body with those published by a range of other authors. The differences reflect disagreements over a number of issues, including the amount of land under cultivation, the extraction and wastage rates for cereals and pulses and the number of animals supplying meat and dairy products. The paper considers recent attempts to achieve a compromise between these estimates and challenges claims that there was a dramatic reduction in either food availabilit...
April 2010Diet, Health and Work Intensity in England and Wales, 1700-1914
with Bernard Harris, Roderick Floud, Robert W. Fogel: w15875
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 the...

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