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On the road to industrialization: nutritional status in Saxony, 1690–1850

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  • Francesco Cinnirella

    () (Department of Economics, Institute of Economic History, University of Munich, Ludwigstrasse 33/IV, 80539 Munich, Germany)

Abstract

Saxony was one of the pioneer regions in the German modern economic growth. We analyze the Saxon nutritional status to infer the effects of early industrialization on the population standard of living. We find that the nutritional status in the eighteenth century was relatively high and heights fluctuated mainly because of wars. From the 1770s the average nutritional status declined steadily, with the exception of the Napoleonic period, until the mid of the nineteenth century. The decline, particularly accentuated after 1815, is related to the high share of urbanization, the increase in the relative price of food, and the strong dependence on food imports.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Cinnirella, 2008. "On the road to industrialization: nutritional status in Saxony, 1690–1850," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 2(3), pages 229-257, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:2:y:2008:i:3:p:229-257
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lantzsch, Jana & Schuster, Klaus, 2009. "Socioeconomic status and physical stature in 19th-century Bavaria," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 46-54, March.
    2. Dobado González, Rafael & García Montero, Héctor, 2010. "Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some Reflections Based on New Empirical Evidence," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 253-277, September.
    3. Brian A'Hearn & John Komlos, 2015. "The Decline in the Nutritional Status of the U.S. Antebellum Population at the Onset of Modern Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 5691, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Weiss, Volkmar, 2009. "National IQ Means Transformed from Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Scores, and their Underlying Gene Frequencies," MPRA Paper 14600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dobado-González, Rafael & Garcia-Hiernaux, Alfredo, 2017. "Two worlds apart: Determinants of height in late 18th century central Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 153-163.
    6. Ayuda, María-Isabel & Puche-Gil, Javier, 2014. "Determinants of height and biological inequality in Mediterranean Spain, 1859–1967," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 101-119.
    7. Coppola, Michela, 2013. "The biological standard of living and mortality in Central Italy at the beginning of the 19th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 453-464.
    8. Rafael Dobado-Gonzáles & Héctor García-Montero, 2012. "Neither So Low Nor So Short: Wages and Heights in Bourbon Spanish America from an International Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 0014, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    9. repec:eee:streco:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    11. José M. Martínez-Carrión & Pedro M. Pérez-Castroviejo & Javier Puche-Gil & Josep M. Ramon-Muñoz, 2014. "Living standards and rural-urban height gap during the early stages of modern economic growth in Spain," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1410, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heights; Nutritional status; Biological standard of living; Industrial revolution;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-

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