Atmospheric pollution, health, and height in late nineteenth century Britain

Roy Bailey, Timothy Hatton, Kris Inwood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In nineteenth century Britain atmospheric pollution from coal-fired industrialization was on the order of 50 times higher than today. We examine the effects of these emissions on child development by analysing the heights on enlistment during WWI of men born in England and Wales in the 1890s. We find a strong negative relationship between adult heights and the coal intensity of the districts in which these men were observed as children in the 1901 census. The subsequent decline in atmospheric pollution likely contributed to the long-term improvement in health and increase in height.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1210-1247pp
    JournalJournal of Economic History
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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