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The height gap in 19th-century America: Net-nutritional advantage of the elite increased at the onset of modern economic growth

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  • Sunder, Marco
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    Abstract

    We present evidence on the 19th-century trend in the height of male US passport applicants. These men represent a much wealthier segment of contemporary society than found in most stature samples previously analyzed. The height trend among the wealthy is much more robust in comparison to the average population that experienced a decline in stature. The resulting increase in the ‘height gap’—by roughly 1in. between cohorts born around 1820 and 1860—is in congruence with evidence on rising wealth inequality and the notion of dietary change in antebellum America.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X13000051
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 245-258

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:245-258

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

    Related research

    Keywords: Anthropometric history; Biological standard of living; Height; Inequality; Antebellum puzzle; Passports;

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