The Hidden Cost of Economic Development: The Biological Standard of Living in Antebellum Pennsylvania, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Hidden Cost of Economic Development

The Biological Standard of Living in Antebellum Pennsylvania, 1st Edition

By Timothy Cuff


296 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815397823
pub: 2020-03-31
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


Originally published in 2005. During the mid-nineteenth century, the American economy grew rapidly as industrialization began to take a firm hold on the nation, and per capita net national product increased significantly. Yet despite this economic bustle and increased affluence, signs of adversity associated with the structural changes from a primarily agricultural, to an industrial economy can be detected. As this book demonstrates, the onset of modern economic growth impinged upon the health and biological well-being of the men and women experiencing that rapid structural transformation. Using detailed statistical analysis of Civil War enlistment records, this book examines the relationship between economic change and changes in the biological standard of living. It argues that industrialization had hidden costs - even in the United States with its abundant resources. Population growth, urbanization and market integration all seem to have had a deleterious effect on the biological well-being of the population, which can be measured in biological statistics. Appealing to a wide circle of scholars, including historians, anthropologists and economists, this book introduces a new conceptualization of the standard of living, and explores social differences in welfare during the period considered. It shows that expansion of the market can be a two-edged sword in that it can increase incomes but simultaneously have an adverse effect on the health and nutritional status of the children living through those times. This conclusion is reached through close analysis of an extensive new data set obtained meticulously from the United States National Archive.

Table of Contents

Preface; The 'antebellum puzzle' in Pennsylvania; Historical anthropometrics: theory, method, and the state of the field; Trade, economic restructuring, and physical stature variation; Antebellum Pennsylvania: a test environment for the biological effects of market integration; Variation and trends in the stature of antebellum Pennsylvania; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General