Lee A. Craig
Department of Economics
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8110
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2000||"Development, Health, Nutrition, and Mortality: The Case of the 'Antebellum Puzzle' in the United States"|
with Michael R. Haines, Thomas Weiss: h0130
The Antebellum Puzzle' describes the situation of declining stature and rising mortality in the three decades prior to the American Civil War (1861-65). It is labeled a puzzle, since this period was one of rapid economic growth and development in the United States. Much of the debate regarding this puzzle has centered on whether the American diet, both in terms of protein and caloric intake in the mid-nineteenth century. But the mortality environment also appears to have worsened (or at least failed to improve), a situation associated with rapid urbanization, commercialization, transport improvement, and increased geographic mobility. The disease environment was being nationalized and internationalized. This paper analyzes the relationship between local agricultural surpluses, nutriti...
|April 1997||Nutritional Status and Agricultural Surpluses in the Antebellum United States|
with Thomas Weiss: h0099
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.
Published: The Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspective, Kolmos, John and Joerg Baten, eds., Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998,pp. 190-207.
|April 1996||Were Free Southern Farmers "Driven to Indolence" by Slavery? A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach|
with Elizabeth B. Field-Hendre: h0082
Antebellum critics of slavery argued that it was responsible for the relative inefficiency of free southern farms. We examine this issue, employing a stochastic production function, which allows us to distinguish between technological superiority and technical inefficiency, and controlling for crop mix, which we treat as endogenous. We find that although large plantations enjoyed a technological advantage, slave farms were less efficient than free northern farms but more efficient than free southern farms. In addition, free southern farms were significantly less efficient than comparable northern farms.