Gender, health and welfare in England and Wales since industrialisation

Harris, Bernard (2008) Gender, health and welfare in England and Wales since industrialisation. Research in Economic History, 26, 157-204. (doi:10.1016/S0363-3268(08)26003-9).


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In recent years, a number of historians have examined the reasons for differences in the height and health of men and women in nineteenth-century Britain, often drawing on economic studies which link excess female mortality in the developing world to restrictions in women’s employment opportunities. This paper re-examines this literature and summarises the existing literature on sex-specific differences in height, weight and mortality in England and Wales before 1850. It then uses two electronic datasets to examine changes in cause-specific mortality rates between 1851 and 1995. Although there is little evidence to support the view that the systematic neglect of female children was responsible for high rates of female mortality in childhood, there is rather more evidence to show that gender inequalities contributed to excess female mortality in adulthood.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0363-3268(08)26003-9
Additional Information: ISBN 9781848553361; eISBN 9781848553378
ISSNs: 0363-3268 (print)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 51874
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
29 November 2008Published
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:30

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