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Access to Food and the Biological Standard of Living: Perspectives on the Nutritional Status of Native Americans


  • John Komlos

    () (The Institute of Economic History, Department of Economics, University of Munich)


The Nutritional status of the plains Indians was relatively high because they lived close to a rich supply of proteins: the bison. Same patterns can be observed in other pre- and early-industrial societies.

Suggested Citation

  • John Komlos, "undated". "Access to Food and the Biological Standard of Living: Perspectives on the Nutritional Status of Native Americans," Articles by John Komlos 1, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehb:komart:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee A. Craig & Thomas Weiss, 1997. "Nutritional Status and Agricultural Surpluses in the Antebellum United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2014. "Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1429, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 07 Jul 2014.
    2. Rietveld, Cornelius A. & Hessels, Jolanda & van der Zwan, Peter, 2015. "The stature of the self-employed and its relation with earnings and satisfaction," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 59-74.
    3. Coffey, Diane, 2015. "Early life mortality and height in Indian states," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 177-189.
    4. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    5. Jørkov, Marie Louise S., 2015. "Stature in 19th and early 20th century Copenhagen. A comparative study based on skeletal remains," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 13-26.
    6. Sunder, Marco, 2011. "Upward and onward: High-society American women eluded the antebellum puzzle," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 165-171, March.
    7. John Komlos & Leonard Carlson, 2010. "The Anthropometric History of Native Americans, c. 1820-1890," Emory Economics 1006, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    8. Sunder, Marco, 2013. "The height gap in 19th-century America: Net-nutritional advantage of the elite increased at the onset of modern economic growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 245-258.
    9. Ozer, Basak Koca, 2007. "Growth reference centiles and secular changes in Turkish children and adolescents," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 280-301, July.
    10. Jörg Baten & Mojgan Stegl & Pierre Eng, 2013. "The biological standard of living and body height in colonial and post-colonial Indonesia, 1770–2000," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 103-122, July.
    11. Kris Inwood & Les Oxley & Evan Roberts, 2008. "Physical stature and its interpretation in nineteenth century New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 08/22, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    12. Godoy, Ricardo A. & Goodman, Elizabeth & Levins, Richard & Caram, Mariana & Seyfried, Craig, 2007. "Adult male height in an American colony: Puerto Rico and the USA mainland compared, 1886-1955," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 82-99, March.
    13. Bokang Mpeta & Johan Fourie & Kris Inwood, 2017. "Black living standards in South Africa before democracy: New evidence from heights," Working Papers 670, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    14. Jantz, Richard L., 2003. "The anthropometric legacy of Franz Boas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 277-284, June.
    15. Miller, Melinda, 2016. "Selection and historical height data: Evidence from the 1892 Boas sample of the Cherokee Nation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 119-123.

    More about this item


    Biological standard of living; nutritional status; native Americans;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior


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