Institutional Change, Geography, and Insolation in Nineteenth Century African-American and White Statures in Southern States
The use of height data to measure living standards is now a well-established method in the economic literature. While much is known about nineteenth century Southern black legal and material conditions, less is known about how their nineteenth century biological conditions were related to institutional change and the physical environment. Average Southern black statures ironically increased during the antebellum period and declined â at least temporarily - after emancipation. On the other hand, average Southern white statures declined throughout the nineteenth century. It is geography and direct sunlight (insolation) that present an additional attribute of nineteenth century black and white stature, and greater insolation is documented here to be associated with taller black and white statures.
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