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Health during Industrialization: Evidence from the 19th Century Pennsylvania State Prison System

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  • Scott A. Carson

Abstract

The use of height data to measure living standards is now a well-established method in economic history. 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 US Northeast and Middle Atlantic states during the 1800s. Here, a new data set is used from the Pennsylvania state prison to track heights of black and white males incarcerated between 1829 and 1909. Throughout the century, and controlling for a number of characteristics, black men in Pennsylvania were shorter than white men. The well-known mid-century height decline confirmed among white men, however, extended to blacks as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Carson, 2007. "Health during Industrialization: Evidence from the 19th Century Pennsylvania State Prison System," CESifo Working Paper Series 1975, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1975
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    Cited by:

    1. Howard Bodenhorn, 2008. "Criminal Sentencing in Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 14283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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