IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Heights of Americans in Three Centuries: Some Economic and Demographic Implications

  • Kenneth L. Sokoloff

    (UCLA)

This paper discusses the potential usefulness of anthropometric measurements in exploring the contributions of nutrition to American economic growth and demographic change. It argues that although the value of height-by-age data to economic historians will ultimately be resolved in the context of investigating specific issues, the early results of the NBER Projecton Long-term Trends in Nutrition, Labor Productivity, and Labor Welfare have been encouraging. Among the most significant findings to date are: (1)that by the time of the Revolution, Americans had attained a mean final height (and net nutritional status) that was very high, one that European populations did not generally reach until the twentieth century; (2) that the variation in stature across occupational classes was much less in the U.S. than in Europe; (3) that natives of the South have been taller than those from other regions of the U.S. since the middle of the eighteenth century, and that their absolute height increased during the antebellum period while mortality was declining there; and (4) that natives of large antebellum cities were much shorter than their country men born in rural areas or in small cities. The paper also examines, in a preliminary fashion, how a newly available data set bears on the hypothesis that a cycle in U.S. final heights began during the antebellum period. The theory might continue to be sustained, but a sample of U.S. Army recruits from 1850 to1855 does not seem to provide much support for it.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp280.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series UCLA Economics Working Papers with number 280.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 01 Dec 1982
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:280
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:280. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tim Kwok)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.