This article provides the first series of adult male height for 19th-century Chile. Our aim was not only to assess the trends indicated by height during this period, but also the relationship between stature and both GDP per capita and exports. Having analysed our data, our primary conclusion is that there was a reduction in height for cohorts born in the 1850s and 1860s with respect to cohorts born between 1820 and 1840. Height stagnated thereafter, with small to no improvement towards the end of the 19th century, in line with other Latin American countries for which there is comparable evidence. The increase in per capita GDP and exports during the second half of the century did not result in better biological welfare, as was the case in other Latin American countries during similar export booms.
This paper provides the first survey of slave prices for Santiago de Chile, c. 1773-1822. It also establishes the main determinants of slave prices during this period. We gathered and analysed over 3,800 sale operations. Our series confirm the usual inverted U-shape when prices are plotted against age, and that age was a very important determinant of slave prices. We also found that: female slaves were systematically priced over male slaves, quite contrary to what happened in most other markets; the prime age of Santiago slaves was 16-34, a younger range than for most other places; male slave prices moved in the same direction as real wages of unskilled workers; and the impact of the free womb law on market prices in 1811 was dramatic.
This article analyses the impact of population composition on long run economic development, by studying European migration to Argentina during the Age of Mass Migration (1850–1914). I use an instrumental variables (IV) approach that assigns immigrants to counties by interacting two sources of variation: the availability of land for settlement and the arrival of Europeans over time. Counties with historically higher shares of European population in 1914 have higher per capita GDP 80 years later. I show that this long run effect is linked to the higher level of human capital that immigrants brought to Argentina. I show that Europeans raised literacy rates in the receiving counties, and that high‐skilled Europeans played an important role in the onset of industrialisation, owned most of the industrial establishments, and provided the majority of the industrial labour force.
We investigate how historical patterns of primary production influenced development across local economies in Argentina. Our identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the composition of primary production induced by climatic features. We find that locations specializing in ranching had weaker linkages with other activities, higher concentration in land ownership, lower population density, and less immigration than cereal-producing areas. Over time, ranching localities continued to exhibit lower population density, and they experienced relatively sluggish industrialization. Ultimately, ranching specialization had large negative effects on long-run levels of income per capita and human capital.
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