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

44 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2008

See all articles by Scott A. Carson

Scott A. Carson

University of Texas of the Permian Basin; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: socioeconomic status, vitamin D, insolation, 19th century US statures

JEL Classification: I10, J01, J15, J16, N81

Suggested Citation

Carson, Scott A., Nineteenth Century Black and White US Statures: The Primary Sources of Vitamin D and Their Relationship with Height (December 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1314693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1314693

Scott A. Carson (Contact Author)

University of Texas of the Permian Basin ( email )

4901 East University
Odessa, TX 79762
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
1,457
PlumX Metrics