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Living Standards In South Africa’s Former Homelands

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  • Martine Mariotti

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Abstract

I exploit the sudden increase in employment in 1975, 1976 and 1977 in some former homelands by comparing the long term adult physical outcomes of children benefitting from the employment increase to those not subject to it. Using a standard difference in difference approach I find that there was some malnutrition in the homelands resulting in stunting in African men born during the shock providing support to the foetal origins hypothesis. The employment shock did not affect other long term outcomes such as education and general health, although there is some evidence of an improvement in long term health. This study provides previously unmeasured individual level information on the quality of life in the homelands during apartheid, an era when African living standards were neglected but unmeasured because of a lack of data collection.

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Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2012-570.

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Length: 54 Pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2012-570

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  1. Nicholas, Stephen & Steckel, Richard H., 1991. "Heights and Living Standards of English Workers During the Early Years of Industrializations, 1770–1815," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(04), pages 937-957, December.
  2. Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A. & Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2007. "Childhood Economic Conditions and Length of Life: Evidence from the UK Boyd Orr Cohort, 1937–2005," IZA Discussion Papers 3042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gテクrgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2010. "Stunting and Selection Effects of Famine: A Case Study of the Great Chinese Famine," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 2, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Tim Watts, 2010. "Long-Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in Nineteenth-Century France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 714-728, November.
  5. John Komlos, . "The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America," Articles by John Komlos 32, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  6. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2008. "The Effects on Stature of Poverty, Family Size and Birth Order: British Children in the 1930s," IZA Discussion Papers 3314, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-72, Summer.
  9. John Komlos, 1993. "The secular trend in the biological standard of living in the United Kingdom, 1730-1860," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, 02.
  10. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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