Anthropometric Evidence on Living Standards in Northern Italy, 1730 1860
AbstractNew estimates of mean stature indicate declining heights in Northern Italy from 1730 to 1860, corroborating recent findings of a deterioration in per capita GDP and real wages though possibly calling into question its severity. The level of heights in the 1830s is respectable in international comparison. Estimated geographic and occupational effects show the influence of the disease environment, malnutrition, and income. Declining living standards suggest a Malthusian interpretation of the economy, in which even a relatively flexible agricultural sector was not quite able to keep up with the growing pressure of population on resources.John Komlos arranged the collection of the data analyzed here and made them available to me. I am also indebted to him for ongoing discussions about anthropometrics and helpful comments on this article. I am grateful to J rg Baten, Giovanni Federico, Paolo Malanima, Gianni Toniolo, and Vincent Tassenaar for reading and commenting on the article, and to three anonymous referees for their com-ments. An earlier version of the article was presented at the Seminar for Economic History, University of Munich.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 63 (2003)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
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