Leunig, Tim and Voth, Hans-Joachim
Smallpox really did reduce height : a reply to Razzell.
Economic history review, 54
Razzell argues that the quality of smallpox recording in the Marine Society data set is so poor that ‘the impact of smallpox on average height cannot be settled by analysis of the Marine Society data set’. We believe that this grossly overstates the problems of the records, and is based on a careless reading of the original records on his part. Furthermore, insofar as his claim that some of the boys who are recorded as escaping smallpox had in fact suffered the disease, the direction of bias strengthens rather than weakens the statistical evidence that smallpox reduced height.
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