Chapter

The Rich and the Dead

Edited by Joseph P. Ferrie

in Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780226116181
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116198 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226116198.003.0002
The Rich and the Dead

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This chapter introduces new evidence on the individual-level correlates of mortality, particularly socioeconomic status measured by occupation and family wealth, created by merging the mortality and population schedules of the 1850 and 1860 federal population censuses. Analysis of rural communities shows that socioeconomic status was an important force shaping the mortality rates experienced by Americans in the middle of the nineteenth century. Although occupation was a poor proxy for status among adult males in 1850, the effect of personal wealth on mortality was quite large in magnitude.

Keywords: mortality; socioeconomic status; occupation; family wealth

Chapter.  14192 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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