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Height in eighteenth-century Chilean men: Evidence from military records, 1730–1800s

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  • Llorca-Jaña, Manuel
  • Navarrete-Montalvo, Juan
  • Droller, Federico
  • Araya-Valenzuela, Roberto

Abstract

This article provides the first height estimates for the adult population for any period of Chilean history. Based on military records, it gives an analysis of the average heights of male soldiers in the last eight decades of the colonial period, c.1730–1800s. The average height of Chilean men was around 167 centimetres, making them on average taller than men from Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela, but of a similar height to men from Sweden. However, Chilean men were clearly shorter than men in neighbouring Argentina, the USA and the UK. Chilean height remained stable during the 1740–1770s, but it declined by some 2–3 centimetres between the 1780 s and the 1800s, in line with a fall in real wages due to increasing food prices and population growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Llorca-Jaña, Manuel & Navarrete-Montalvo, Juan & Droller, Federico & Araya-Valenzuela, Roberto, 2018. "Height in eighteenth-century Chilean men: Evidence from military records, 1730–1800s," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 168-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:168-178
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2018.03.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Borrescio-Higa, Florencia & Bozzoli, Carlos Guillermo & Droller, Federico, 2019. "Early life environment and adult height: The case of Chile," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 134-143.
    2. Llorca-Jaña, Manuel & Clarke, Damian & Navarrete-Montalvo, Juan & Araya-Valenzuela, Roberto & Allende, Martina, 2020. "New anthropometric evidence on living standards in nineteenth-century Chile," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    3. Boris Branisa & José Peres-Cajías & Nigel Caspa, 2019. "The biological standard of living in urban Bolivia, 1880s-1920s: stagnation and persistent inequality," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 240, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Salvatore, Ricardo, 2019. "The biological wellbeing of the working-poor: The height of prisoners in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, 1885–1939," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 92-102.
    5. Adolfo Meisel-Roca & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo & Daniela Santos-Cárdenas, 2018. "Socioeconomic Determinants and Spatial Convergence of Biological Well-being: The Case of Physical Stature in Colombia, 1920-1990," Borradores de Economia 1053, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Biological standard of living; Physical stature; Height; Chile; Anthropometric history; Eighteenth century;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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