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

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos

    ()

  • Josée Leblanc

    ()

  • David Sahn

    ()

Abstract

This paper develops a methodology to estimate the entire population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data. We do this 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 historical as well as contemporary 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 due to political sensitivity and/or confidentiality concerns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 771.09.

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Length: 43
Date of creation: 20 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:771.09

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Related research

Keywords: Health; health inequality; aggregate data; 19th-century France; welfare;

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  1. Menno Pradhan & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2001. "Decomposing World Health Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-091/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. 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.
  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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