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A Female-Male Net Nutrition Comparison Using Differences-in-Decompositions: Late 19th and Early 20th Century Social Feminism and Women's Suffrage

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  • Scott A. Carson

Abstract

When other measures for economic welfare are scarce or unreliable, the body mass index (BMI) is a biological measure that reflects current net nutrition. This study uses a difference-in-decompositions framework to analyze how women’s BMIs varied with the advent of early 20th century social feminism. Late 19th and early 20th century US economic development improved the relative status of women relative to both men before and after the transition to social feminism. Twentieth century women’s BMIs were higher than 19th century women relative to men with the rise of social feminism. The primary source of female-male across-group variation was height and nativity, indicating there was net nutritional progress for women relative to men associated with changing cumulative net nutrition. The primary source of female-male within-group variation was nativity and socioeconomic status, indicating there was net nutritional progress relative to women born before the transition for women born after the rise of social feminism association with socioeconomic status.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Carson, 2019. "A Female-Male Net Nutrition Comparison Using Differences-in-Decompositions: Late 19th and Early 20th Century Social Feminism and Women's Suffrage," CESifo Working Paper Series 8037, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8037
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Scott Alan Carson, 2018. "The weight of nineteenth century Mexicans in the Western United States," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 1-12, January.
    2. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    3. repec:fth:prinin:315 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Bodenhorn, Howard & Guinnane, Timothy W. & Mroz, Thomas A., 2017. "Sample-Selection Biases and the Industrialization Puzzle," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 171-207, March.
    6. Komlos, John & Carson, Scott, 2017. "The BMI values of the lower classes likely declined during the Great Depression," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 137-143.
    7. Komlos, John, 1987. "The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 897-927, December.
    8. Carson, Scott Alan, 2011. "Height of female Americans in the 19th century and the antebellum puzzle," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 157-164, March.
    9. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    10. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
    11. Scott Alan CARSON, 2018. "Net Nutrition and the Transition from 19th Century Bound to Free-Labor: Assessing Dietary Change with Differences-in-Decompositions," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 447-475, December.
    12. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    13. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
    14. Komlos, John, 2019. "Shrinking in a growing economy is not so puzzling after all," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 40-55.
    15. Scott Alan Carson, 2013. "Socioeconomic Effects on the Stature of Nineteenth-Century US Women," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 122-143, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    BMI variation; economic transitions Oaxaca decompositions;

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C40 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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