Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 14 No. 1 (Winter 2000)


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The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800

Article Citation

Easterlin, RichardA. 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(1): 7-26.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.1.7


By many measures a revolution in living conditions is sweeping the world. Most people today are better fed, clothed, and house than their predecessors two centuries ago. They are healthier, live longer, and are better educated. Women's lives are less centered on reproduction, and political democracy has gained a foothold. Current international differences in a number of standard of living indicators are significantly correlated. Historically, however, these improvements often started at quite different times, suggesting that the determinants of change in different aspects of the standard of living are varied.

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Easterlin, Richard A. (U Southern CA)

JEL Classifications

I31: General Welfare
N30: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Religion: General, International, or Comparative


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