Living Standards in Black and White: Evidence from the Heights of Ohio Prison Inmates, 1829 â€“ 1913
The use of height data to measure living standards is now a well-established method in the economic history literature. Moreover, a number of core findings in this literature are widely agreed upon. There are still some populations, places, and times, however, for which anthropometric evidence remains thin. One example is African-Americans in the Northern US in the 1800s. Here, we use new data from the state prison in Ohio to track heights of black and white men from 1829 to 1913. We corroborate the well-known mid-century height decline among white men in Ohio, found by Steckel and Haurin (1994) using National Guard data. We find that black men in Ohio were shorter than white men, throughout the century and controlling for a number of characteristics. We also find a pattern of height decline in mid-century similar to that found for white men.
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- 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.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1992.
"Stature and Living Standards in the United States,"
NBER Chapters,in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 265-310
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1991. "Stature and Living Standards in the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- John Komlos, "undated". "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.
- John Komlos, "undated". "Anomalies in Economic History: Reflections on the 'Antebellum Puzzle'," Articles by John Komlos 12, Department of Economics, University of Munich. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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