IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/streco/v41y2017icp43-52.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Hidden negative aspects of industrialization at the onset of modern economic growth in the U.S

Author

Listed:
  • Komlos, John
  • A’Hearn, Brian

Abstract

The decrease in nutritional status of the American population during the structural change brought about by the onset of modern economic growth is inferred from the decline in average physical stature for more than a generation beginning with the birth cohorts of the early 1830s. The decline occurred in a dynamic economy characterized by rapid population growth, urbanization, and industrialization. The decline in nutritional status was associated with a rise in both mortality and morbidity. These hitherto hidden negative aspects of rapid industrialization were brought about by rising inequality and a marked increase in real food prices, which induced dietary changes through the substitution away from edibles toward non-edibles. The implication is that the human biological system did not thrive as well as one would theoretically expect in a growing economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Komlos, John & A’Hearn, Brian, 2017. "Hidden negative aspects of industrialization at the onset of modern economic growth in the U.S," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 43-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2017.03.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954349X17300036
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.strueco.2017.03.001?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Komlos, 1993. "The secular trend in the biological standard of living in the United Kingdom, 1730-1860," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, February.
    2. R. Rees & John Komlos & Ngo V. Long & Ulrich Woitek, 2003. "Optimal food allocation in a slave economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, February.
    3. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    4. Claudia D. Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1988. "The Poor at Birth: Infant Auxology and Mortality at Philadelphia's Almshouse Hospital, 1848-1873," NBER Working Papers 2525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg00-1, July.
    6. Scott Carson, 2015. "A Weighty Issue: Diminished Net Nutrition Among the U.S. Working Class in the Nineteenth Century," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(3), pages 945-966, June.
    7. Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521705615, November.
      • Floud,Roderick & Fogel,Robert W. & Harris,Bernard & Hong,Sok Chul, 2011. "The Changing Body," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521879750, November.
    8. Koziel, Slawomir & Lopuszanska, Monika & Szklarska, Alicja & Lipowicz, Anna, 2010. "The negative health consequences of unemployment: The case of Poland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 255-260, July.
    9. Lipowicz, Anna, 2007. "Hypertension among Polish males during the economic transition," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 61-73, March.
    10. 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(4), pages 897-927, December.
    11. Sunder, Marco & Woitek, Ulrich, 2005. "Boom, bust, and the human body: Further evidence on the relationship between height and business cycles," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 450-466, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Lang, Stefan & Sunder, Marco, 2003. "Non-parametric regression with BayesX: a flexible estimation of trends in human physical stature in 19th century America," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 77-89, January.
    14. Moradi, Alexander, 2010. "Nutritional status and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-1980," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 16-29, March.
    15. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1992. "Wages, Prices, and Labor Markets before the Civil War," NBER Chapters, in: Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel, pages 67-104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Margo, Robert A., 1996. "The Rental Price of Housing in New York City, 1830–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 605-625, September.
    18. Margo, Robert A. & Villaflor, Georgia C., 1987. "The Growth of Wages in Antebellum America: New Evidence," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 873-895, December.
    19. Sunder, Marco, 2004. "The height of Tennessee convicts: another piece of the "antebellum puzzle"," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 75-86, March.
    20. Mummert, Amanda & Esche, Emily & Robinson, Joshua & Armelagos, George J., 2011. "Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: Evidence from the bioarchaeological record," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 284-301, July.
    21. Kiesling, L. Lynne & Margo, Robert A., 1997. "Explaining the rise in antebellum pauperism, 1850-1860: New evidence," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 405-417.
    22. Gallman, Robert E., 1996. "Dietary Change in Antebellum America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 193-201, March.
    23. Thomas J. Weiss, 1992. "U. S. Labor Force Estimates and Economic Growth, 1800-1860," NBER Chapters, in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 19-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Carson, Scott Alan, 2011. "Height of female Americans in the 19th century and the antebellum puzzle," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 157-164, March.
    25. Steckel, Richard H., 1998. "Strategic Ideas in the Rise of the New Anthropometric History and their Implications for Interdisciplinary Research," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 803-821, September.
    26. Kuznets, Simon, 1973. "Modern Economic Growth: Findings and Reflections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 247-258, June.
    27. J. W. Drukker & Vincent Tassenaar, 1997. "Paradoxes of Modernization and Material Well-Being in the Netherlands during the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 331-378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
    29. Komlos, John, 1998. "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 779-802, September.
    30. John Komlos, 1998. "The Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspectives: Proceedings of a Conference Held in Munich January 18-23, 1997," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 6, June.
    31. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
    32. Robert E. Gallman & John Joseph Wallis, 1992. "American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gall92-1, January.
    33. Robert W. Fogel & Nathaniel Grotte, 2011. "An Overview of The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700," NBER Working Papers 16938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Rothenberg, Winifred B., 1979. "A Price Index for Rural Massachusetts, 1750–1855," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 975-1001, December.
    35. John Komlos, 1993. "A Malthusian episode revisited: the height of British and Irish servants in colonial America," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(4), pages 768-782, November.
    36. Woitek, Ulrich, 2003. "Height cycles in the 18th and 19th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 243-257, June.
    37. Scott Carson, 2009. "African-American and white inequality in the nineteenth century American South: a biological comparison," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 739-755, July.
    38. John Komlos, 1992. "Toward an Anthropometric History of African-Americans: The Case of the Free Blacks in Antebellum Maryland," NBER Chapters, in: Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel, pages 297-329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Baten, Jorg & Murray, John E., 2000. "Heights of Men and Women in 19th-Century Bavaria: Economic, Nutritional, and Disease Influences," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 351-369, October.
    40. Sunder, Marco, 2013. "The height gap in 19th-century America: Net-nutritional advantage of the elite increased at the onset of modern economic growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 245-258.
    41. 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.
    42. Yoo, Dongwoo, 2012. "Height and death in the Antebellum United States: A view through the lens of geographically weighted regression," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-53.
    43. Roderick Floud & Robert W. Fogel & Bernard Harris & Sok Chul Hong, 2011. "The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number foge10-1, January.
    44. John Komlos & Helmut Küchenhoff, 2012. "The diminution of the physical stature of the English male population in the eighteenth century," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 45-62, January.
    45. Haines, Michael R. & Craig, Lee A. & Weiss, Thomas, 2011. "Did African Americans experience the [`]Antebellum Puzzle'? Evidence from the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 45-55, January.
    46. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1999. "A Troublesome Caste: Height and Nutrition of Antebellum Virginia's Rural Free Blacks," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 972-996, December.
    47. 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.
    48. 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.
    49. Hiermeyer, Martin, 2010. "The height and BMI values of West Point cadets after the Civil War," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 127-133, March.
    50. John Komlos, "undated". "Anomalies in Economic History: Reflections on the 'Antebellum Puzzle'," Articles by John Komlos 12, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
    51. Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Introduction to "Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860"," NBER Chapters, in: Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860, pages 1-5, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    52. Rothenberg, Winifred B., 1981. "The Market and Massachusetts Farmers, 1750–1855," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 283-314, June.
    53. John Komlos & Peter Coclanis, "undated". "On the 'Puzzling' Antebellum Cycle of the Biological Standard of Living: the Case of Georgia," Articles by John Komlos 9, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
    54. Steckel, Richard H., 1979. "Slave height profiles from coastwise manifests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-380, October.
    55. 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.
    56. Baten, Jörg & Komlos, John, 1998. "Height and the Standard of Living," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 866-870, September.
    57. Komlos, John & Kelly, Inas (ed.), 2016. "The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199389292, Decembrie.
    58. Sunder, Marco, 2011. "Upward and onward: High-society American women eluded the antebellum puzzle," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 165-171, March.
    59. Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(1), pages 167-174, March.
    60. Michael R. Haines, 1998. "Health, Height, Nutrition, and Mortality: Evidence on the "Antebellum Puzzle" from Union Army Recruits in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century," NBER Historical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    61. Cinnirella, Francesco, 2008. "Optimists or pessimists? A reconsideration of nutritional status in Britain, 1740–1865," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 325-354, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Toselli, Stefania & Rinaldo, Natascia & Gualdi-Russo, Emanuela, 2019. "Length of residence and obesity risk among North African immigrant women in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 74-79.
    2. Hruschka, Daniel J. & Hackman, Joseph V. & Stulp, Gert, 2019. "Identifying the limits to socioeconomic influences on human growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 239-251.
    3. Scott A. Carson, 2020. "Nineteenth through early 20th Century Female and Male Statures within the Household," CESifo Working Paper Series 8616, CESifo.
    4. Komlos, John, 2019. "Shrinking in a growing economy is not so puzzling after all," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 40-55.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Komlos, John, 2019. "Shrinking in a growing economy is not so puzzling after all," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 40-55.
    2. 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.
    3. Komlos, John, 2012. "A Three-Decade “Kuhnian” History of the Antebellum Puzzle: Explaining the shrinking of the US population at the onset of modern economic growth," Discussion Papers in Economics 12758, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Komlos, John & Baten, Jörg, 2003. "Looking Backward and Looking Forward: Anthropometric Research and the Development of Social Science History," Discussion Papers in Economics 59, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Maloney, Thomas N. & Carson, Scott Alan, 2008. "Living standards in Black and White: Evidence from the heights of Ohio Prison inmates, 1829-1913," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 237-251, July.
    7. Sunder, Marco, 2013. "The height gap in 19th-century America: Net-nutritional advantage of the elite increased at the onset of modern economic growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 245-258.
    8. Scott A. Carson, 2008. "Demographic, Residential, and Socioeconomic Effects on the Distribution of 19th Century African-American Stature," CESifo Working Paper Series 2479, CESifo.
    9. Bodenhorn, Howard & Guinnane, Timothy W. & Mroz, Thomas A., 2017. "Sample-Selection Biases and the Industrialization Puzzle," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 171-207, March.
    10. Scott A. Carson, 2008. "Geography and Insolation in 19th Century US African-American and White Statures," CESifo Working Paper Series 2229, CESifo.
    11. Scott A. Carson, 2010. "Nineteenth Century US African-American and White Female Statures: Insight from US Prison Records," CESifo Working Paper Series 3169, CESifo.
    12. Bodenhorn, Howard & Guinnane, Timothy & Mroz, Thomas, 2013. "Problems of Sample-selection Bias in the Historical Heights Literature: A Theoretical and Econometric Analysis," Center Discussion Papers 148749, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    13. Galofré-Vilà, Gregori, 2018. "Growth and maturity: A quantitative systematic review and network analysis in anthropometric history," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 107-118.
    14. Carson, Scott Alan, 2011. "Height of female Americans in the 19th century and the antebellum puzzle," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 157-164, March.
    15. Hiermeyer, Martin, 2010. "The height and BMI values of West Point cadets after the Civil War," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 127-133, March.
    16. Tatarek, Nancy E., 2006. "Geographical height variation among Ohio Caucasian male convicts born 1780-1849," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 222-236, June.
    17. Scott Carson, 2011. "Demographic, residential, and socioeconomic effects on the distribution of nineteenth-century African-American stature," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1471-1491, October.
    18. Sunder, Marco, 2004. "The height of Tennessee convicts: another piece of the "antebellum puzzle"," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 75-86, March.
    19. Laura Alfaro & Areendam Chanda & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Selin Sayek, 2006. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Economic Growth? Exploring the Effects of Financial Markets on Linkages," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_023, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    20. Carson, Scott Alan, 2011. "Was the 19th century stature-insolation relationship similar across independent samples? Evidence from soldiers and prisoners," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 199-207, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Physical stature; Modern economic growth; Nutrition; Industrialization; Living standards;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/525148 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.