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Underperformance in Affluence: The Remarkable Relative Decline in U.S. Heights in the Second Half of the 20th Century

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  • John Komlos
  • Benjamin E. Lauderdale

Abstract

We use the complete set of NHES and NHANES data collected between 1959 and 2004 in order to construct trends for the physical stature of the non-Hispanic white and black U.S. adult population and compare them to those of western and northern Europeans. Copyright (c) 2007 Southwestern Social Science Association.

Suggested Citation

  • John Komlos & Benjamin E. Lauderdale, 2007. "Underperformance in Affluence: The Remarkable Relative Decline in U.S. Heights in the Second Half of the 20th Century," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 283-305.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:socsci:v:88:y:2007:i:2:p:283-305
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings," IZA Discussion Papers 4140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Hatton, Timothy J. & Bray, Bernice E., 2010. "Long run trends in the heights of European men, 19th-20th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 405-413, December.
    3. Challú, Amílcar E. & Silva-Castañeda, Sergio, 2016. "Towards an anthropometric history of latin America in the second half of the twentieth century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 226-234.
    4. Do, D. Phuong & Watkins, Daphne C. & Hiermeyer, Martin & Finch, Brian K., 2013. "The relationship between height and neighborhood context across racial/ethnic groups: A multi-level analysis of the 1999–2004 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 30-41.
    5. Delajara, Marcelo & Rodríguez-Segura, Melissa, 2010. "Why are Mexican American boys so much taller now?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 212-222, July.
    6. Scott A. Carson, 2010. "Racial Differences in Body-Mass Indices for Men Imprisoned in 19th Century US Prisons: A Multinomial Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3016, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Saint Onge, Jarron M. & Krueger, Patrick M. & Rogers, Richard G., 2008. "Historical trends in height, weight, and body mass: Data from U.S. Major League Baseball players, 1869-1983," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 482-488, December.
    8. Scott Carson, 2012. "Nineteenth century stature and family size: binding constraint or productive labor force?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 39-52, March.
    9. Grasgruber, P. & Cacek, J. & Kalina, T. & Sebera, M., 2014. "The role of nutrition and genetics as key determinants of the positive height trend," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 81-100.
    10. María-Dolores, Ramón & Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel, 2011. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain, 1850-1958," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 30-44, January.
    11. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
    12. Özer, Basak Koca & SagIr, Mehmet & Özer, Ismail, 2011. "Secular changes in the height of the inhabitants of Anatolia (Turkey) from the 10th millennium B.C. to the 20th century A.D," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 211-219, March.
    13. Finch, Brian Karl & Beck, Audrey N., 2011. "Socio-economic status and z-score standardized height-for-age of U.S.-born children (ages 2-6)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 272-276, July.
    14. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.
    15. Cvrcek, Tomas, 2009. "Inequality and living standards under early communism: Anthropometric evidence from Czechoslovakia, 1946-1966," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 436-449, October.
    16. Yoko Akachi & David Canning, 2008. "The Mortality and Morbidity Transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Adult Heights," PGDA Working Papers 3308, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    17. Scott A. Carson, 2010. "Nineteenth Century Stature and Family Size: Binding Constraint or Productive Labor Force?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2999, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "Generational effects and gender height dimorphism in contemporary Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, March.
    19. Akachi, Yoko & Canning, David, 2010. "Health trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicting evidence from infant mortality rates and adult heights," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 273-288, July.

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