English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Poor, Hungry and Stupid: Numeracy and the Impact of High Food Prices in Industrializing Britain, 1780-1850 Jörg Baten; Dorothee Crayen; Joachim Voth

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Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/152830
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Poor, Hungry and Stupid: Numeracy and the Impact of High Food Prices in Industrializing Britain, 1780-1850
Author
  • Jörg Baten
  • Dorothee Crayen
  • Joachim Voth
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • This paper argues that low levels of nutrition impaired cognitive development in industrializing England, and that welfare transfers mitigated the adverse effects of high food prices. Age heaping is used as an indicator of numeracy, as derived from census data. For the cohorts from 1780-1850, we analyse the effect of high grain prices during the Napoleonic Wars. We show that numeracy declined markedly for those born during the war years, especially when wheat was dear. Crucially, where the Old Poor Law provided for generous relief payments, the adverse impact of high prices for foodstuffs was mitigated. Finally, we show some tentative evidence that Englishmen born in areas with low income support selected into occupations with lower cognitive requirements.
  • Nutrition, cognitive development, labor market outcomes, Napoleonic wars, IQ
  • RePEc:upf:upfgen:1120
Language
  • English
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