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

  • Blum, Matthias

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 436-452

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:436-452
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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