Explaining Long-Term Trends in Health and Longevity is a collection of essays by Nobel laureate Robert W. Fogel on the theory and measurement of ageing and health-related variables. Dr Fogel analyzes historic data on height, health, nutrition and life expectation to provide a clearer understanding of the past, illustrate the costs and benefits of using such measures and note the difficulties of drawing conclusions from data intended for different purposes. Dr Fogel explains how the basic findings of the anthropometric approach to historical analysis have helped reinterpret the nature of economic growth. Rising life expectancies and lower disease rates in countries experiencing economic growth highlight the importance of improving nutrition and agricultural productivity.
Robert W. Fogel is Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr Fogel was the joint winner (with Douglass North) of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1993. He is the author of several books, including The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100: Europe, America, and the Third World (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism (2002). He co-authored The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
1. Foreword Stanley Engerman; 2. Secular changes in American and British stature and nutrition; 3. Second thoughts on the European escape from hunger: famines, chronic malnutrition, and mortality rates; 4. Trends in physiological capital: implications for equity in health care; 5. Changes in disparities and chronic diseases through the course of the twentieth century; 6. Some common problems in analysis and measurement; 7. Afterword: a conversation with the author.