Numeracy and the Impact of High Food Prices in Industrializing Britain, 1780–1850

  title={Numeracy and the Impact of High Food Prices in Industrializing Britain, 1780–1850},
  author={Jorg Baten and Dorothee Crayen and Hans Joachim Voth},
  journal={Review of Economics and Statistics},
Abstract Using census-based data on the ability to recall one's age, we show that low levels of nutrition impaired numeracy in industrializing England, 1780 to 1850: cognitive ability declined among those born during the Napoleonic wars. The effect was stronger in areas where grain was expensive and relief for the poor, an early form of welfare support was limited. Nutritional shortages had a nonlinear effect on numeracy, with, severe shortages impairing numeracy more. Nutrition during… 

Land inequality and numeracy in Spain during the seventeenth and eighteenth century

We assess the relationship between land inequality and human capital for the later part of the early modern period, focusing on individual-level evidence from Spain. Our main finding is that land

Farmers at the Heart of the ‘Human Capital Revolution’? Decomposing the Numeracy Increase in Early Modern Europe

Did the early development of skills and numerical abilities occur primarily in urban centres and among the elite groups of society? This study assesses the human capital of different occupational

Social and intertemporal differences of basic numeracy in Pannonia (first century BCE to third century CE)

In this study, we assess the human capital of Roman legionaries, officers and the civilian population born between the first century BCE and the third century CE in Pannonia (today’s West Hungary).

Food Prices and Cognitive Development in the United States: Evidence from the 1850-1930 Data

This paper investigates the impact of food prices on children’s cognitive development by exploiting historical price and census data in the mid to late 19th century and early 20th century United


This study looks at human capital in Spain during the early stages of modern economic growth. In order to do so, we have assembled a new dataset on ageheaping and literacy in Spain for both men and

Precocious Albion: A New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution

Many explanations have been offered for the British Industrial Revolution. This article points to the importance of human capital (broadly defined) and the quality of the British labor force on the

Variations in the Price and Quality of English Grain, 1750-1914: Quantitative Evidence and Empirical Implications.

Interpretation of historic grain price data may be hazardous owing to systematic grain quality variation – both cross sectionally and over varying time horizons (intra-year, inter-year, long run). We



New Evidence and New Methods to Measure Human Capital Inequality Before and During the Industrial Revolution: France and the US in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries

We explore pre- and early industrial inequality of numeracy using the age heaping method and anthropometric strategies. For France, we map differential numeracy between the upper and lower segments

Pessimism Perpetuated: Real Wages and the Standard of Living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution

  • C. Feinstein
  • Economics, History
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1998
New estimates of nominal earnings and the cost of living are presented and used to make a fresh assessment of changes in the real earnings of male and female manual workers in Britain from 1770 to

The Socioeconomic Return to Primary Schooling in Victorian England

In this article I provide a micro-level analysis of primary schooling in Victorian England. Using a new dataset of school-age males linked between the 1851 and 1881 population censuses, I examine the

The Old Poor Law and the Agricultural Labor Market in Southern England: An Empirical Analysis

  • G. Boyer
  • Economics, History
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1986
The paper examines the economic role played by poor relief in early nineteenth-century England. A three-equation model is estimated to explain cross-parish variations in per capita relief

Home Demand and British Industrialization

  • S. Horrell
  • Economics
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1996
Household budget studies are used to assess working-class demand for manufactures over industrialization. Contrary to demand-side proponents, increased urbanization, enhanced opportunities for

Optimists or pessimists? A reconsideration of nutritional status in Britain, 1740–1865

We revise previous estimates on average nutritional status in Britain during the industrial revolution. We find that average nutritional status declined substantially throughout the period 1740–1865,

Destined for Deprivation? Intergenerational Poverty Traps in Eighteenth-Century Britain

A model illustrates the intergenerational transmission of poverty through the effects of shocks to family income on children's general education and health and subsequently on their capacity to work

Health and Economic Growth

Since the mid 1980s, research on economic growth has experienced a boom, beginning with the work of Romer (1986). The new “endogenous growth” theories have focused on productivity advances that