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Tall and shrinking Muslims, short and growing Europeans: The long-run welfare development of the Middle East, 1850-1980

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  • Stegl, Mojgan
  • Baten, Joerg

Abstract

In this study we examine anthropometric data for eight countries in the Middle East for the period 1850-1910, and we follow those countries until the 1980s. The Middle East had a relatively good position during the mid-19th century, if human stature or real wages are considered, but much less so in terms of GDP per capita. Initially low population densities allowed better anthropometric outcomes. The height advantage was due, among other factors, to easier access to animal products. All indicators suggest that the Middle East lost ground after the 1870s relative to the industrializing Countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 132-148

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:1:p:132-148

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Welfare Middle East Anthropometrics Growth Living standards;

References

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  1. Koepke, Nikola & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 61-95, April.
  2. John Komlos, . "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," Articles by John Komlos 7, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  3. Baten, Jörg & Komlos, John, 1998. "Height and the Standard of Living," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 866-870, September.
  4. Pamuk, Sevket, 2006. "Estimating Economic Growth in the Middle East since 1820," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 809-828, September.
  5. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  6. Koepke, Nikola & Baten, Joerg, 2008. "Agricultural specialization and height in ancient and medieval Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 127-146, April.
  7. Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 167-174, March.
  8. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
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