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African-American and White Living Standards in the 19th Century American South: A Biological Comparison

  • Scott A. Carson
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    By using a new source of 19th century Texas state prison records, the present study contrasts the biological living conditions of comparable blacks and whites in the American South between the Civil War and Reconstruction. White stature exceeded black stature. Between 1850 and 1870, black sub-adult stature declined by over one centimeter. Postbellum sub-adult white stature declined by over one and a half centimeters and never recovered over the same period. The secular trend for adult blacks improved by two and one half centimeters between the 1850s but declined after the Civil War.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-03/cesifo1_wp1696.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1696.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1696
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    1. 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.
    2. Haines, Michael R. & Craig, Lee A. & Weiss, Thomas, 2003. "The Short and the Dead: Nutrition, Mortality, and the in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 382-413, June.
    3. 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.
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    6. Komlos, John, 1996. "Anomalies in Economic History: Toward a Resolution of the “Antebellum Puzzle”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 202-214, March.
    7. Steckel, Richard H., 1989. "Household migration and rural settlement in the United States, 1850-1860," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 190-218, April.
    8. Robert W. Fogel, 1984. "Nutrition and the Decline in Mortality Since 1700: Some Preliminary Findings," NBER Working Papers 1402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Pritchett, Jonathan B. & Freudenberger, Herman, 1992. "A Peculiar Sample: The Selection of Slaves for the New Orleans Market," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 109-127, March.
    10. Irwin James R., 1994. "Explaining the Decline in Southern per Capita Output after Emancipation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 336-356, July.
    11. Wahl, Jenny B., 1996. "The Jurisprudence of American Slave Sales," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 143-169, March.
    12. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    13. Metzer, Jacob, 1975. "Rational management, modern business practices, and economies of scale in the ante-bellum southern plantations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 123-150, April.
    14. 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(04), pages 972-996, December.
    15. Hoyt Bleakley, 2003. "Disease and Development: Evidence from the American South," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 376-386, 04/05.
    16. Sutch, Richard, 1975. "The treatment received by American slaves: A critical review of the evidence presented in Time on the Cross," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 335-438, October.
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