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Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France

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  • Duclos, Jean-Yves
  • Leblanc, Josée
  • Sahn, David E.

Abstract

We develop a methodology to estimate underlying (continuous) population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data through the estimation of the parameters of mixtures of distributions that allow for maximal parametric flexibility. The statistical approach we develop enables comparisons of the full distributions of height data from potential army conscripts across France’s 88 departments for most of the nineteenth century. These comparisons are made by testing for differences-of-means stochastic dominance. Corrections for possible measurement errors are also devised by taking advantage of the richness of the data sets. Our methodology is of interest to researchers working on bin-aggregated or histogram-type data, something that is still widely done since much of the information that is publicly available is in that form, often due to restrictions based on confidentiality concerns.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X11000505
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 419-437

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:4:p:419-437

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

Related research

Keywords: Health and nutrition; Distributional analysis; France; Economic history; Height; Physical stature; Anthropometric history;

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  1. David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2002. "Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 716-735.
  2. Pradhan, Menno & Sahn, David E. & Younger, Stephen D., 2003. "Decomposing world health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 271-293, March.
  3. Haddad, Lawrence & Ahmed, Akhter, 2003. "Chronic and Transitory Poverty: Evidence from Egypt, 1997-99," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 71-85, January.
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