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Grain prices and mortality: a note on La Michodières law

Cormac Ó Gráda () and Jean-Michel Chevet

No 200401, Working Papers from School of Economics, University College Dublin

Abstract: Research linking food prices and excess mortality has a long history in applied economics and economic history. It goes back to 1766, when Jean-Baptiste de la Michodière was the first to use empirical data to argue for a positive association between wheat prices and mortality. Here La Michodière's time series are subjected to closer statistical scrutiny: the correlation survives, though it is less strong than some later scholars asserted. We also test for the price-mortality link using cross-section data for the 1690s and 1700s.

Keywords: Food prices; Famine; Economic history; History of economic thought; Food prices; Famines; Economic history (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-01
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Journal Article: Grain prices and mortality: A note on 'La Michodiere's Law' (2006) Downloads
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