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Nineteenth Century Black and White US Statures: The Primary Sources of Vitamin D and their Relationship with Height

  • Scott A. Carson
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    Vitamin D is vital in all vertebrates because it allows them to absorb more calcium from their diets, contributing to stronger skeletal systems and stature growth. Using a new source of 19th century US state prison records, this study contrasts the statures of comparable African-Americans and whites by the primary sources of vitamin D production: time exposed to solar radiation, skin pigmentation, and nativity. Greater insolation (vitamin D production) is documented here to be associated with taller black and white statures, and a considerable share of the stature differential by socioeconomic status was related to insolation.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-12/cesifo1_wp2497.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2497.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2497
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    1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, 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. Steckel, Richard H., 1979. "Slave height profiles from coastwise manifests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-380, October.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:01:p:232-246_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2000:i:01:p:232-246_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
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