Samuel H. Preston

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Economic history has contributed significantly to the formulation of economic theory.* Among the economists who have found history an important source for their ideas are Smith, Malthus, Marx, Marshall, Keynes, Hicks, Arrow, Friedman, Solow, and Becker. Failure to take account of history, as Simon Kuznets (1941) stressed, has often led to a misunderstanding(More)
BACKGROUND Cigarette smoking is responsible for a massive loss of life in both developed and developing countries. This article develops an alternative to the Peto-Lopez method for estimating the number or fraction of smoking-attributable deaths in high-income countries. METHODS We use lung cancer death rates as an indicator of the damage caused by(More)
The paper examines educational differentials in adult mortality in the United States within a multivariate framework using data from the National Longitudinal Mortality Survey (NLMS). As a preliminary step we compare the magnitude of educational mortality differentials in the United States to those documented in Europe. At ages 35-54, the proportionate(More)
This paper investigates the social and economic circumstances of childhood that predict the probability of survival to age 85 among African-Americans. It uses a unique study design in which survivors are linked to their records in U.S. Censuses of 1900 and 1910. A control group of age and race-matched children is drawn from Public Use Samples for these(More)
This article demonstrates that over the period 1948-2003, sex differences in mortality in the age range 50-84 widened and then narrowed on a cohort basis rather than on a period basis. The cohort with the maximum excess of male mortality was born shortly after the turn of the century. Three separate data sources suggest that the turnaround in sex mortality(More)
Two recent studies have compared the size of educational mortality differentials among adults in the 1980s to estimates for 1960. Both studies have concluded that educational differentials have increased for males. One study finds a similar increase for females. We reconsider this question by introducing a data source that is better suited to estimating(More)
BACKGROUND Better early childhood nutrition improves schooling, adult health, skills, and wages, but there is little evidence regarding its effect on the next generation. OBJECTIVE We assessed whether nutritional supplementation in children aged <7 to 15 y affected their children's nutritional status 29-38 y later. DESIGN We studied 791 children 0-12 y(More)
This paper demonstrates the relation that obtains between the average family size of women and the average family size of offspring of those women. It estimates the value of these two measures for cohorts of American women aged 45-49 in various years from 1890 to 1970. It shows that children born during the post-war baby boom actually derived from smaller(More)
"This paper considers the effects of health conditions in childhood on an individual's mortality risks as an adult. It examines epidemiologic evidence on some of the major mechanisms expected to create a linkage between childhood and adult mortality and reviews demographic and epidemiologic studies for evidence of the hypothesized linkages....Many(More)
In this paper we investigate the quality of age reporting on death certificates of elderly African-Americans. We link a sample of death certificates of persons age 65+ in 1985 to records for the same individuals in U.S. censuses of 1900, 1910, and 1920 and to records of the Social Security Administration. The ages at death reported on death certificates are(More)