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December 2021

The vulnerable child. Economic insecurity and child mortality in pre-industrial Sweden: A case study of Vastanfors, 1757-1850

Journal/Book: Eur J Pop. 1999; 15: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 117-151.

Abstract: By using macro-economic time series as time-varying community variables in a life event analysis framework for micro data on individuals, we have found that mortality among children over the age of one year in pre-industrial Sweden was directly dependent upon economic fluctuations, a fact which has not been demonstrated before. The impact is stronger among the lower classes than the well-to-do. It is particularly strong in years following an extremely poor harvest. Another new finding is that smallpox mortality among children is determined by economic fluctuations. However, infant mortality seems to follow its own rhythms independently of changes in economic conditions.

Note: Article Bengtsson T, Univ Lund, Dept Econ Hist, S-22100 Lund, SWEDEN


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