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Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research

Conference paper to be presented at Economic History Society Annual Conference 2016

Published: 10 February 2016

Economic History Society Annual Conference, Robinson College, University of Cambridge, 1-3 April 2016

Public works loans, social intervention and mortality change in England and Wales, 1850-1914

Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde) & Andrew Hinde (University of Southampton)

This paper investigates the impact of sanitary effort on mortality in England and Wales during the second half of the nineteenth century. We use data on mortality by cause for the 600 or so registration districts of England and Wales drawn from the Registrar General’s Decennial Supplements, and investigate the causes which are known to have made the greatest contribution to the overall decline of mortality during this period (scarlet fever, diarrhoea and dysentery, typhus, typhoid, tuberculosis and diseases of the lungs). Data on sanitary effort come from records of the loans taken out by municipal authorities between 1817 and 1910 under a wide variety of Acts of Parliament which were stated to be for the purposes of improving sanitation or the water supply. These data on loans can be used to calculate a measure of the level of sanitary investment in each registration district which can be included in econometric models designed to assess the impact of interventions.

For further information about the conference please follow this link.

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