Must-Read: John Tang: The Engine and the Reaper: Industrialization and Mortality in Early Modern Japan
Must-Read: The Engine and the Reaper: Industrialization and Mortality in Early Modern Japan: “Economic development leads to improved health over time due to increased access to medical treatment, sanitation, and income…:
…but in the short run the relationship may be negative given disease exposure from market integration. Using a panel dataset of vital statistics for Meiji Japan, I find mortality rates increased during the country’s early industrialization, with railroad access accounting for over five percent of average mortality between 1886 and 1893. Estimates from a triple-differences framework indicate that communicable disease mortality accounts for 91 percent of the additional incidence, which suggests that improved transport may have operated as a vector for transmission.