Differential_infant_and_child_mortality

Differential_infant_and_child_mortality - Blackwell...

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Economic History Review , LVIII, 2 (2005), pp. 272–309 © Economic History Society 2005. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Oxford, UK and Malden, USAEHRThe Economic History Review0013-0117Economic History Society 20052005 LVIII 2272309Articles DUTCH DIFFERENTIAL INFANT AND CHILD MORTALITYFRANS VAN POPPEL, MARIANNE JONKER, AND KEES MANDEMAKERS Differential infant and child mortality in three Dutch regions, 1812–1909 1 By FRANS VAN POPPEL, MARIANNE JONKER, and KEES MANDEMAKERS I ince the 1980s, socio-economic inequality in mortality has become a continuous topic of academic interest, and a key issue of attention to policymakers in many European countries. The Netherlands is no exception to that rule. A bibliometric analysis showed that in The Netherlands, an explosive growth of the number of publications on the topic took place after 1980; until that year, the number of publications had fluctuated at a rather low level. 2 Interest in the issue arose in the middle of the nineteenth century, when the sanitary reformers started to point to the fact that differences in death rates between poor and rich people were very high. In their opinion, good health was not a privilege of the higher social classes, but rather something that could be claimed by everybody. 3 In particular, socio- economic inequality in the mortality of children attracted attention. This was not only because in this age group, death risks were extremely high; mortality differences between children were also regarded as less acceptable because children had no choice in their living conditions. Epidemiologists have recently become interested in the history of socio- economic inequalities in infant and child mortality, as trends over time developed into an important contemporary political issue: a possible per- sistence of mortality differences indicates that efforts to improve the health of the lowest socio-economic groups have not been fully effective. 4 Without a long-run perspective, it is not clear whether the disparities observed over, 1 This research is a part of the Early-life Conditions, Mortality and Longevity project, called Health Inequalities in Life Course Perspective . We have benefited from support from the National Institute of Health, NIH Grant no 1 P01AG18314-01A1. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the ‘Workshop on Large Databases: Results and Best Practices’, organized by the Historical Sample of The Netherlands and the International Institute for Social History (17–18 May 2001 in Amsterdam) and at the Fifth Conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, ‘Health and the Child: Care and Culture in History’, (Geneva Medical School, 13–16 September 2001).
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  • Summer '14
  • Demography, mortality, Economic History Society

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