Recessions, Mortality, and Migration Bias: Evidence from the Lancashire Cotton Famine†

Vellore Arthi*, Brian Beach, W. Walker Hanlon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We examine the health effects of the Lancashire Cotton Famine, a sharp downturn in Britain's cotton textile manufacturing regions that was induced by the US Civil War. Migration was an important response to this downturn, but as we document, migration also introduces a number of empirical challenges, which we overcome by introducing a new methodological approach. Our results indicate that the recession increased mortality among households employed in the cotton textile industry. We also document localized spillover effects on households providing nontradable services in the areas affected by the recession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-255
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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