Education and Longevity

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Mainul Hoque, Mohammad
Montenegro, Claudio E.
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The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Around 1700, a remarkable increase in life expectancy began in Europe and North America that spreads to other parts of the world, eventually adding 48 years to expected length of life. The persistent increase in longevity was a departure from centuries of stagnation at a steady-state equilibrium characterized by short lifespans lived at or below subsistence. This chapter reviews the antecedents to that increase in life expectancy including an agricultural revolution that increased average caloric consumption and health, an industrial revolution that increased income, and a human capital revolution that increased the capacity to produce and grow. It will be shown that increases in life expectancy led to rising investments in human capital, and that increased human capital had feedback effects on improved health. This virtuous cycle between health and education represents part of the endogenous growth mechanism that has increased life expectancy, education, income, and quality of life around the world, and offers a path out of poverty for the countries yet to develop.
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a chapter published as Orazem, Peter F., Elizabeth M. King, Mohammad Mainul Hoque, and Claudio E. Montenegro. "Education and Longevity." In: Zimmermann K.F. (eds) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Springer, Cham. (2022): 1-32. The final authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_290-1. Copyright 2022 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Posted with permission.