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Grain prices and mortality: A note on 'La Michodiere's Law'

Jean-Michel Chevet and Cormac Ó Gráda ()

The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2006, vol. 13, issue 2, 183-194

Abstract: In a postscript to his Recherches sur la population (1766), political arithmetician Louis Messance made the case for a positive association mortality and the price of wheat. The true author of the postscript was probably Jean-Baptiste Francois de la Michodiere (1720 - 97), Messance's mentor and employer. The calculations given in this paper offer tempered support for what is dubbed 'La Michodiere's law'. There was indeed a correlation between prices and mortality in early eighteenth-century France; but La Michodiere's own and other data imply that even then it was weaker and less mechanical than implied by some of his successors.

Keywords: Corn prices; mortality; economic demography; famine (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:13:y:2006:i:2:p:183-194