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Nutritional Status and Agricultural Surpluses in the Antebellum United States

  • Lee A. Craig
  • Thomas Weiss

We model the relationship between local agricultural surpluses, nutritional status, and height, and we test the hypothesis that adult height is positively correlated with the local production of nutrition in infancy. We test the hypothesis on two samples of Union Army recruits - one consisting of white recruits and the other black recruits. The white sample shows that a local protein surplus one standard deviation above the mean yielded an additional 0.10 inches in adult height, and a similar deviation in surplus calorie production yielded an additional 0.20 inches. For blacks, however, the effect was probably negligible.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/h0099.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0099.

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Date of creation: Apr 1997
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Publication status: published as The Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspective, Kolmos, John and Joerg Baten, eds., Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998,pp. 190-207.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0099
Note: DAE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. John Komlos, . "The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America," Articles by John Komlos 32, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  2. Gallman, Robert E., 1996. "Dietary Change in Antebellum America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 193-201, March.
  3. Komlos, John, 1996. "Anomalies in Economic History: Toward a Resolution of the “Antebellum Puzzle”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 202-214, March.
  4. John Komlos, 1993. "The secular trend in the biological standard of living in the United Kingdom, 1730-1860," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, 02.
  5. Roderick Floud & Kenneth W. Wachter & Annabel Gregory, 1993. "Measuring historical heights-shortcuts or the long way round: a reply to Komlos," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(1), pages 145-154, 02.
  6. Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 167-174, March.
  7. John Komlos, 1992. "Toward an Anthropometric History of African-Americans: The Case of the Free Blacks in Antebellum Maryland," NBER Chapters, in: Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel, pages 297-329 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Craig, Lee A & Palmquist, Raymond B & Weiss, Thomas, 1998. "Transportation Improvements and Land Values in the Antebellum United States: A Hedonic Approach," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 173-89, March.
  9. John Komlos, . "Stature and Nutrition in the Habsburg Monarchy: The Standard of Living and Economic Development," Articles by John Komlos 36, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  10. Komlos, John & Coclanis, Peter, 1997. "On the Puzzling Cycle in the Biological Standard of Living: The Case of Antebellum Georgia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 433-459, October.
  11. Gregory Clark & Michael Huberman & Peter H. Lindert, 1995. "A British food puzzle, 1770–1850," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(2), pages 215-237, 05.
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