Clean water technologies and urban mortality in Sweden 1885-1925

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Using a newly digitised historical dataset on clean water technologies in Swedish cities, this study tries to find the causal effect (and the magnitude of this effect) of the introduction of clean water technology on mortality in urban areas. Using urban mortality data on a county level, and clean water access data on city level, both OLS, fixed effects, and difference-in-differences models are tried in order to isolate an effect. The result of the models show that it is not possible to capture the mortality (neither general nor disease-specific) variation using this dataset: the general mortality decline in cities during this period is confounded by too many omitted variables apart from clean water technology. This study is a first step in the process, but to come closer to a reliable estimate, sharper variables (both dependent and independent) and closer analysis is needed.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • epidemiology, urban penalty, Sweden, waterborne disease, clean water technology, mortality decline, mortality
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2015 Jun 25
Place of PublicationLund
  • Department of Economic History, Lund University
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch