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

  • Jörg Baten
  • Andreas Böhm

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.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 11 (2010)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:11:y:2010:i::p:1-24
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2008. "Risk Aversion and Trade Union Membership," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 88, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. 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.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1.
  9. Jörg Baten & Andrea Wagner, 2002. "Autarchy, Market Disintegration, and Health: The Mortality and Nutritional Crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937," CESifo Working Paper Series 800, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. 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, September.
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