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by Robert William Fogel

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Author: Robert William Fogel
ISBN: 0521808782
Language: English
Pages: 216 pages
Category: Humanities
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Stated First Edition edition (May 24, 2004)
Rating: 4.3
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FB2 size: 1787 kb | EPUB size: 1475 kb | DJVU size: 1282 kb
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Robert William Fogel .

Robert William Fogel.

Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology over the last three centuries and beyond. Chronic malnutrition is one reason why people in the past had smaller, weakerbodies and lived shorter lives than people do today.

Start by marking Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100 . His book will be essential reading for all those interested in economics, demography, history and health care policy.

Start by marking Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100, The: Europe, America, and the Third World. Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology over the last three centuries and beyond. Throughout most of human history, chronic malnutrition has been the norm. Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology from 1700 to 2100.

Cambridge University Press 0521808782 - The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100: Europe, America, and the Third World - Robert William Fogel Frontmatter More information. Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time.

by Robert William Fogel. Series: Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time (38). A compelling new study from Nobel laureate Robert Fogel, examining health, nutrition and technology over the last three centuries and beyond. It will be essential reading for all those interested in economics, demography, history and health care policy.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2003. The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Consequently there has been an exponential increase in the number of patients receiving orthotopic liver transplants in Great Britain, Europe and the United States (Fig.

The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100: Europe, America, and the Third World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700 (co-written with Roderick Floud, Bernard Harris, and Sok Chul Hong), Cambridge University Press, New York 2011. ISBN 978-0-521-87975-0. Explaining Long-Term Trends in Health and Longevity, 2012.

Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology from 1700 to 2100. Although throughout most of human history, chronic malnutrition has been the norm, a synergy between improvements in productive technology and human physiology has enabled humans to more than double their average longevity and to increase their body size by over fifty percent over the past three centuries. Larger, healthier humans have contributed to the acceleration of economic growth and technological change, resulting in reduced economic inequality, declining hours of work and a corresponding increase in leisure time. Increased longevity has also brought increased demand for health care. Fogel argues that health care should be viewed as the growth industry of the twenty-first century and systems of financing it should be reformed. His book will be essential reading for all interested in economics, demography, history and health care policy. A professor at the University of Chicago, Robert William Fogel has taught at the University of Rochester, Cambridge University, and Harvard University. He has received numerous awards and prizes for his work, including the Arthur C. Cole Prize (1968), the Schumpeter Prize (1971), the Bancroft Prize (1975), the Gustavus Myers Prize (1990), and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science (1993). Previous books include Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (W.W. Norton & Company, 1994) and The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism (The University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Comments (7)
Lestony
The book starts with an examination of living conditions preceding and during the Industrial Revolution, based on data developed in Britain and France in the last few decades that shows life expectancy and mortality for the past three to four centuries. Parallel research also reconstructed estimates of the food available for both countries and some limited data on height of adult males. The data shows that food supply was insufficient and this is also reflected in stunted heights. The problem of hunger was so bad, particularly in France, that people did not get enough calories to do much productive work, and were confined to bed in the winter as a means of conserving calories. People in the US fared better, having adequate nourishment, greatly outliving people in Britain and France.

Though diseases and occasional famines took a toll, chronic malnutrition was a factor in disease susceptibility but chronic malnutrition itself was by far the major factor in mortality. This argument is reinforced with graphs and tables of relative mortality versus height and body mass index.

Times series show a secular decline in mortality beginning around 1750 and continuing until the early 20th Century, although the scatter in the data was also markedly reduced (around the time of industrialization, railroads, steamships and canals) probably due to reduced impact of famines and epidemics.

The books concludes with a discussion of societal effects of the great increase in life expectancy and the problem of health care for the elderly.

After reading this book you will give thanks before every meal!

For a contemporary account see: Friedrich Engles: The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844

As for how we managed to escape from hunger see: Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil
Nalme
Although it is very thorough, the graphs are sometimes a bit confusing
Billy Granson
You cannot imagine what is the west if you don't read this book! Our history was a matter of survival until recently and the civilization of wealth.
Anayanis
Thank you!
Wnex
I got this book as a recommendation [...] and it was a lot more interesting and useful than I had any right to expect. Very well researched study that considers how populations have changed over time and why. If you are worried at all about population growth and the like, you must read this book.
Cobandis
A concise and interesting book describing Fogel's distinctive approach to economic history. Fogel and his colleagues used proxy measures of well being, notably height, to assess the general standards of living over the last couple of centuries. Fogel makes a number of interesting points. He describes improved nutrition and a positive interaction between improved nutrition and susceptibility to infectious disease as a major driver of improved human welfare and through improved productivity, improved economic performance. In concert with some other scholars, he emphasizes nutrition and health over the lifespan with antenatal nutrition being particularly important. Fogel's analysis produces some interesting results. Parts of the 19th century often inferred to have rising standards of living probably didn't as shown by static to declining average male heights. Conversely, the Great Depression may have been less impactful than usually assumed as there wasn't a major impact on Fogel's measures, likely because of major public health and other measures in preceding decades. The later part of the book deals with some of Fogel's projections of the future, including some predictions about rising life expectancy and how to deal with aging populations. I suspect that Fogel would have been surprised and disappointed by the stagnant and in come cases falling life expectancy in some sectors of the US.
Unirtay
Given that our vision is so heavily freighted with the moment, ideas of human progress are in short supply lately. Although not an easy ride, economic historian and Nobel laureate Robert William Fogel's survey of the long run, at least in respect to human morbidity, leisure and longevity, provides escape velocity from pressing concerns about war, pandemic, income inequality and the health of the ecosphere. It might be as another noted economist, Alfred Lord Keynes, said in a different context: In the long-run we are all dead. But, the long-run seems to be getting longer.

The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100 is an extension of Fogel's briefer 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture. It provides a synergistic view of the impact of increasing human environmental control on the demographic, economic and physiological conditions of successive generations over the past 300 years. According to Fogel, the interaction of these forces has over this period, and most dramatically over the last century, brought about a new stage of evolution - non-genetic "techno-physio evolution." He indicates this is evidenced by an unprecedented positive change during this period in caloric intake of about 250%, human body size of over 50%, and an increase in longevity of over 100%. Pointing to the future, Fogel's extrapolation of data over the last 140 years in optimal life circumstances, suggests that centenarians will be common by the last quarter of the 21st century. During the past three centuries there has also been an accompanying substantial decrease in the hours it takes each day to earn one's daily bread and increase in the percentage of discretionary income.

Although this is a "little" book, just 111 pages in the main body, it is densely packed with deep-mine data and illuminating higher-order concepts derived from a lifetime of concentration on economic development, particularly when Fogel was affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research as director of its Development of the American Economy Program and subsequently at the University of Chicago as the Charles R. Walgreen Professor of American Institutions and director of the university's Center for Population Economics. Metabolic indices, the thermodynamics of human physiological activity, Waaler curves, in-utero effects on morbidity, protein energy, malnutrition, physiological capital, and Gini ratios are grist for Fogel's mill.

Fogel's treatment of the confluence of technological change, diet, morbidity, work demands, leisure and mortality extends beyond developments in Western society to include the rapid pace of technophysio evolutionary changes in third world countries whose per capita income increases piggybacked on Western innovations, consequently dwarfing the much slower pace of Western improvements a century earlier. In the process of his examination he emphasizes the need to recognize the optimal conditions for human adaptation rather than settle for standards such as daily caloric requirements derived from earlier phases of technophysio evolution. Policy issues in the areas of health care, personal savings and retirement are also discussed in the light of the demographic changes that are occurring.

Some data reported by Fogel and those from other sources are anomalous. For instance, in view of the technophysio evolution particularly of the last 100 years, it seems strange that Dutch males, who were on average about 5'5" in 1860 are now the tallest in the world at about 5'11" while over the same period US men, who were about 5'7" then, are only 5'8" now after the declines of the last few decades. One explanation derives from the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the US (Gini = 45) compared to the greater income equality in the Netherlands (Gini = 30.9). (The Gini coefficient ranges from 1-100 with lower scores representing less income inequality). Also, there are data from millennia ago indicating a decline in average heights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the transition period from the hunter-gatherer economic regime to the first agricultural revolution (11,000 BC - 5000 BC). In John Kolmos (Ed.) Stature, Living Standards and Economic Development (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994) there are a number of contributions that focus on such issues.

Professor Fogel touches very briefly on in utero, childhood and adolescence effects of economic status on morbidity and mortality, but his comment that "The exact mechanisms by which malnutrition and trauma in utero or in early childhood are transformed into organ dysfunctions are still unclear." (p. 32) is unwarranted. These relationships are detailed extensively in various chapters of the volume by Bruce S. McEwen and H. Maurice Goodman (Eds.) Handbook of Physiology: Coping with the Environment: Vol. IV (Oxford Univ. Press, 2001) for neuroendocrine abnormalities; in D.J.P. Barker's Mothers, Babies and Health in later Life (Churchill Livingstone, 1998) and Fetal Origins of Cardiovascular and Lung Disease (Marcel Dekker, 2001) for specific organ effects; in Peter Gluckman and Mark Hansen's The Fetal Matrix (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005) for more general morbidity effects; and A.R. Cellura's The Genomic Environment and Niche-Experience (Cedar Springs Press, 2005) for the confluence of genetic influences, economic regimes, ecological niches, caloric intake, stature, morbidity and mortality.

Robert William Fogel's The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100 is that rare species of research - longitudinal study. Unlike the cross-sectional snapshots whose importance often quickly fades, there is gold in these data mines that is so precious because it is so difficult to find and so hard to get to. It is must reading for those in human biology, medicine and the social sciences who are interested in the issues surrounding human adaptation. It will also appeal to life-long learners drawn to the interface between the biology, economics and history of the human condition.