Social inequality and the biological standard of living: An anthropometric analysis of Swiss conscription data, 1875–1950
We analyze the first representative series of individual measurements of the height of Swiss conscripts for the years 1875–1950. We find that average height followed a general upward time trend, but the economic downturn in the 1880s slowed down the increase in rural average-heights while the economic crisis subsequent to World War I had only a minor effect. Moreover, social-class affiliation was the most important determinant of differences in the biological standard of living, with class and regional disparities remaining constant, for the most part, during the observation period. Lower-class individuals’ ability to overcome economic stress was limited, with the result that their biological standard of living, as reflected in the cyclicality of deviations from average height, was likely to be affected by cycles in economic activity.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tarn Duong & Martin L. Hazelton, 2005. "Cross-validation Bandwidth Matrices for Multivariate Kernel Density Estimation," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 32(3), pages 485-506.
- Fogel,Robert William, 2004.
"The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700â€“2100,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521808781, October.
- Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700â€“2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886, October.
- Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995.
"Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series,"
NBER Working Papers
5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, December.
- Koch, Daniel, 2011. "Waaler revisited: The anthropometrics of mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 106-117, January.
- 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.
- Stanley L. Engerman, 1997. "The Standard of Living Debate in International Perspective: Measures and Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 17-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alain Noullez & Alessandra Iacobucci, 2004.
"A Frequency-selective Filter for Short-Length Time Series,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 2004
128, Society for Computational Economics.
- Alessandra Iacobucci & Alain Noullez, 2005. "A Frequency Selective Filter for Short-Length Time Series," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 75-102, February.
- Alessandra Iacobucci & Alain Noullez, 2004. "A Frequency Selective Filter for Short-Length Time Series," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2004-05, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
- Duong, Tarn, 2007. "ks: Kernel Density Estimation and Kernel Discriminant Analysis for Multivariate Data in R," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 21(i07), pages -.
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2008.
"Adult height and childhood disease,"
1119, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Cole, T. J., 2003. "The secular trend in human physical growth: a biological view," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 161-168, June.
- Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1, Enero.
- Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981.
"Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation,"
451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
- Brabec, Marek, 2005. "Analysis of periodic fluctuations of the height of Swedish soldiers in 18th and 19th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-16, March.
- Sunder, Marco & Woitek, Ulrich, 2005. "Boom, bust, and the human body: Further evidence on the relationship between height and business cycles," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 450-466, December.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1982. "Height and Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 0880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kues, Arne Benjamin, 2010. "Taller - Healthier - more equal? The biological standard of living in Switzerland in the second half of the 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 67-79, March.
- Ulrich Woitek, 1998.
"Height Cycles in the 18th and 19th Centuries,"
9811, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
- Komlos, John, 1987.
"The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(04), pages 897-927, December.
- John Komlos, "undated". "The Height and Weight of West Point Cadets: Dietary Change in Antebellum America," Articles by John Komlos 32, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
- Federico, Giovanni, 2003. "Heights, calories and welfare: a new perspective on Italian industrialization, 1854-1913," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 289-308, December.
- Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Introduction to "Health and Welfare during Industrialization"," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 1-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Taylor, Charles C., 2008. "Automatic bandwidth selection for circular density estimation," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 3493-3500, March.
- Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
- Robert Hart & James Malley & Ulrich Woitek, 2009. "Real earnings and business cycles: new evidence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 51-71, September.
- Baten Jörg, 2000. "Heights and Real Wages in the 18th and 19th Centuries: An International Overview," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 41(1), pages 61-76, June.
- McEvoy, Brian P. & Visscher, Peter M., 2009. "Genetics of human height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 294-306, December.
- Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:2:p:154-173. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.