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Children's Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994-2006

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  • Jörg Baten
  • Andreas Böhm

Abstract

The average height of children is an indicator of the quality of nutrition and healthcare. In this study, we assess the effect of unemployment and other factors on this variable. In the Eastern German Land of Brandenburg, a dataset of 253,050 preschool height measurements was compiled and complemented with information on parents' schooling and employment status. Unemployment might have negative psychological effects, with an impact on parental care. Both a panel analysis of districts and an assessment at the individual level yield the result that increasing unemployment, net out-migration and fertility were in fact reducing height. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Baten & Andreas Böhm, 2010. "Children's Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994-2006," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 1-24, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:11:y:2010:i::p:1-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
    2. John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2.
    3. Baten, Jorg & Wagner, Andrea, 2003. "Autarchy, market disintegration, and health: the mortality and nutritional crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2012. "Risk Aversion and Trade-Union Membership," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 275-295, June.
    5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. 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.
    7. John Komlos & Peter Kriwy, 2003. "The Biological Standard of Living in the Two Germanies," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4, pages 459-473, November.
    8. Komlos, John, 1996. "Anomalies in Economic History: Toward a Resolution of the “Antebellum Puzzle”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 202-214, March.
    9. Robert William Fogel, 1993. "New Sources and New Techniques for the Study of Secular Trends in Nutritional Status, Health, Mortality, and the Process of Aging," NBER Historical Working Papers 0026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Parental job loss and children's health: Ten years after the massive layoff of the SOEs' workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 303-319.
    2. Blum, Matthias, 2011. "Government decisions before and during the First World War and the living standards in Germany during a drastic natural experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 556-567.
    3. Blum, Matthias, 2013. "The influence of inequality on the standard of living: Worldwide anthropometric evidence from the 19th and 20th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 436-452.

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