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Caste, Public Policy and Health: Living Standards in South India 1910-1940

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What was the impact of British rule in India on living standards? This hotly debated issue has been addressed using many different strategies. Institutional variations including comparisons of directly and indirectly ruled regions and land tenure systems has been fruitful. In addition, analysis of the impact of state sponsored investment projects, especially railways, have also attracted attention in this context. I use a new anthropometric database to bring information on the biological standard of living to bear on these debates over the impact of British public policy on the lives of Indians.

This talk is part of the World History Workshop series.

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