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Nineteenth Century Stature and Family Size: Binding Constraint or Productive Labor Force?

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  • Scott A. Carson
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    Abstract

    The use of height data to measure living standards is now a well-established method in economics. Nevertheless, a neglected area in historical stature studies is the relationship between stature and family size, and statures are documented here to be positively related with family size. The relationship between material inequality and heath is the subject of considerable debate, and there was an inverse relationship between material inequality and stature. The paper also supports a bio-spatial relationship between the environment and stature.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-03/cesifo1_wp2999.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2999.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2999

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    Related research

    Keywords: family economics; stature; wealth; inequality; insolation; vitamin D;

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    1. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
    2. John Komlos, . "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," Articles by John Komlos 7, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
    3. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," Working Papers 1007, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," Working Papers 1127, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    5. Komlos, John, 1987. "The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(04), pages 897-927, December.
    6. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Height, health, and inequality: the distribution of adult heights in India," Working Papers 1009, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    7. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Height, health, and inequality: the distribution of adult heights in India," Working Papers 1125, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    8. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
    9. Carson, Scott Alan, 2008. "The Effect of Geography and Vitamin D on African American Stature in the Nineteenth Century: Evidence from Prison Records," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 812-831, September.
    10. Peck, Maria Nyström & Lundberg, Olle, 1995. "Short stature as an effect of economic and social conditions in childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 733-738, September.
    11. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred, 1981. "The "Egalitarian Ideal" and the Distribution of Wealth in the Northern Agricultural Community: A Backward Look," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 124-29, February.
    13. Komlos, John & Coclanis, Peter, 1997. "On the Puzzling Cycle in the Biological Standard of Living: The Case of Antebellum Georgia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 433-459, October.
    14. John Komlos & Benjamin E. Lauderdale, 2007. "Underperformance in Affluence: The Remarkable Relative Decline in U.S. Heights in the Second Half of the 20th Century," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 283-305.
    15. Steckel, Richard H., 1979. "Slave height profiles from coastwise manifests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-380, October.
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