John Tang, Senior Lecturer, Research School of Economics, Australian National University

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Date: Friday, February 19, 2016 – 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Rafik B. Hariri Building, McDonough School of Business

Presenter: John Tang (new window), Senior Lecturer, Research School of Economics, Australian National University

Paper: “The Engine and the Reaper: Industrialization and Mortality in Early Modern Japan” (new window) 

Tang’s research finds that 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, he found 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.

The BEPP seminar series showcases the scholarship of leading faculty from prominent universities across the nation and around the world. The CBPP presents this seminar series jointly with the Strategy, Economics, Ethics and Public Policy faculty of the McDonough School of Business, a multi-disciplinary group whose primary research and teaching interests lie in Economics, International Business, International Political Economy, Organizational Theory, and Strategy.