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Infant mortality and the health of survivors: Britain, 1910–50

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  • TIMOTHY J. HATTON

Abstract

The first half of the twentieth century saw rapid improvements in the health and height of British children. Average height and health can be related to infant mortality through a positive selection effect and a negative scarring effect. Examining town-level panel data on the heights of school children I find no evidence for the selection effect but some support for the scarring effect. The results suggest that the improvement in the disease environment, as reflected by the decline in infant mortality, increased average height by about half a centimeter per decade in the first half of the twentieth century.
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Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Hatton, 2011. "Infant mortality and the health of survivors: Britain, 1910–50," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 951-972, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:64:y:2011:i:3:p:951-972
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    Cited by:

    1. Butikofer, Aline & Løken, Katrine & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2016. "Infant Health Care and Long-Term Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 11652, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Akachi, Yoko & Canning, David, 2015. "Inferring the economic standard of living and health from cohort height: Evidence from modern populations in developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 114-128.
    3. Hatton, Timothy J. & Martin, Richard M., 2010. "Fertility decline and the heights of children in Britain, 1886-1938," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 505-519, October.
    4. Mariano Bosch & Carlos Bozzoli & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Infant mortality, income and adult stature in Spain," Working Papers 2009-27, FEDEA.
    5. Jaime Reis & Nuno Palma, 2018. "Can autocracy promote literacy? Evidence from a cultural alignment success story," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1805, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Bailey, Roy E. & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2016. "Atmospheric Pollution and Child Health in Late Nineteenth Century Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 10428, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Hatton, Timothy J., 2015. "Stature and Sibship: Historical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 10675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Víctor Hugo de Oliveira Sila & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Infant disease, economic conditions at birth and adult stature in Brazil," Working Papers 2009-33, FEDEA.
    9. Bailey, Roy E & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2014. "Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 9959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Nuno Palma & Jaime Reis, 2018. "Can Autocracy Promote Literacy? Evidence from a Cultural Alignment Success Story," Working Papers 0127, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. Schneider, Eric B. & Ogasawara, Kota, 2017. "Disease and child growth in industrialising Japan: assessing instantaneous changes in growth and changes in the growth pattern, 1911-39," Economic History Working Papers 84066, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    12. Bütikofer, Aline & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2015. "Long-Term Consequences of Access to Well-Child Visits," IZA Discussion Papers 9546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:198-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Coffey, Diane, 2015. "Early life mortality and height in Indian states," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 177-189.
    15. de Beer, Hans, 2016. "The biological standard of living in Suriname, c. 1870–1975," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 140-154.
    16. Joseph Molitoris, 2017. "Disparities in death: Inequality in cause-specific infant and child mortality in Stockholm, 1878‒1926," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(15), pages 455-500, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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