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The influence of inequality on the standard of living: Worldwide anthropometric evidence from the 19th and 20th centuries

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  • Blum, Matthias

Abstract

We provide empirical evidence on the existence of the Pigou–Dalton principle. The latter indicates that aggregate welfare is – ceteris paribus – maximized when incomes of all individuals are equalized (and therefore marginal utility from income is as well). Using anthropometric panel data on 101 countries during the 19th and 20th centuries, we determine that there is a systematic negative and concave relationship between height inequality and average height. The robustness of this relationship is tested by means of several robustness checks, including two instrument variable regressions. These findings help to elucidate the impact of economic inequality on welfare.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:436-452
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2012.12.002
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blum, Matthias & Strebel, Matthias, 2016. "Max Weber and the First World War: Protestant and Catholic living standards in Germany, 1915–1919," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 699-719, September.
    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. Blum, Matthias & Hanley, Nicholas & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2013. "Genuine savings and future well-being in Germany, 1850-2000," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2013-13, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    4. José Miguel Martínez-Carrión & Antonio D. Cámara, 2015. "Social Differentials in the Biological Standard of Living during the Decline of Industrialization in Andalusia: A District-level Analysis in Antequera," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1508, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    5. Matthias Blum & Eoin McLaughlin & Nick Hanley, 2014. "Accounting for Sustainable Development over the Long-Run:Lessons from Germany," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2014-10, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    6. Ayuda, María-Isabel & Puche-Gil, Javier, 2014. "Determinants of height and biological inequality in Mediterranean Spain, 1859–1967," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 101-119.
    7. Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel & Cañabate-Cabezuelos, José, 2016. "Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition," MPRA Paper 74356, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 2016.
    8. Ramon Ramon-Muñoz & Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz, 2015. "Height and Industrialisation in a City in Catalonia during the Nineteenth Century," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/334, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.

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