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Famines and mortality crises in 18th to 19th century southern Sweden
Centre for Economic Demography and Department of Economic History, Lund University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Statistics. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). (ALC)
2011 (English)In: Genus: Journal of Population Sciences, ISSN 2035-5556, Vol. 67, no 2, 119-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Causality is an important but complicated issue, not only within social sciences in general but also within economic and historical demography. Here we are dealing with two different, but related, problems of causality. The first is to what extent the impact of food prices on mortality is biased when selecting on years with mortality crises. The second concerns the problem of mixing factors that directly and indirectly have an impact on mortality. Dealing with the first problem, we compare the effects of food prices on child and adult mortality when selecting on mortality crises with a standard approach without selection. When dealing with the second problem we use the additive hazards model, in combination with dynamic path analysis, which allows for investigating the mediating effect of intermediate covariates in a causal framework. We use individual level data from the Scanian Economic Demographic Database for five rural parishes for the period 1766 to 1865. Data on food prices refers to the local area of these parishes. The statistical analyses are performed in the R statistical computing environment, especially with the aid of the package eha. The main findings are that selecting on mortality crises created a large bias in the direction of overestimating the impact of food prices and that that the direct effects of food prices are dominating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rome: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza , 2011. Vol. 67, no 2, 119-139 p.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49348OAI: diva2:455209
Available from: 2011-11-09 Created: 2011-11-09 Last updated: 2011-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Broström, Göran
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Department of StatisticsCentre for Population Studies (CPS)
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