NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Relevance of Malthus for the Study of Mortality Today: Long-Run Influences on Health, Mortality, Labor Force Participation, and Population Growth

Robert W. Fogel

NBER Historical Working Paper No. 54
Issued in March 1994
NBER Program(s):   DAE

This paper argues that the secular decline in mortality, which began during the eighteenth century, is still in progress and will probably continue for another century or more. The evolutionary perspective presented in this paper focuses not only on the environment, which from the standpoint of human health and prosperity has become much more favorable than it was in Malthus's time, but also on changes in human physiology over the past three centuries which affect both economic and biomedical processes. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the interconnectedness of events and process over the life cycle and, by implication, between generations.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/h0054

Published: Population, Economic Development, and the Environment, Kiessling, Kerstin Lindahl and Hans Landberg, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994,pp. 231-284.

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