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Komlos, John; A'Hearn, Brian (2017): Hidden negative aspects of industrialization at the onset of modern economic growth in the US. In: Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Vol. 41: pp. 43-52
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The decrease in nutritional status of the American population during the structural change brought about by the onset of modern economic growth is inferred from the decline in average physical stature for more than a generation beginning with the birth cohorts of the early 1830s. The decline occurred in a dynamic economy characterized by rapid population growth, urbanization, and industrialization. The decline in nutritional status was associated with a rise in both mortality and morbidity. These hitherto hidden negative aspects of rapid industrialization were brought about by rising inequality and a marked increase in real food prices, which induced dietary changes through the substitution away from edibles toward non-edibles. The implication is that the human biological system did not thrive as well as one would theoretically expect in a growing economy. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.