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Early life mortality and height in Indian states

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  • Coffey, Diane

Abstract

Height is a marker for health, cognitive ability and economic productivity. Recent research on the determinants of height suggests that postneonatal mortality predicts height because it is a measure of the early life disease environment to which a cohort is exposed. This article advances the literature on the determinants of height by examining the role of early life mortality, including neonatal mortality, in India, a large developing country with a very short population. It uses state level variation in neonatal mortality, postneonatal mortality, and pre-adult mortality to predict the heights of adults born between 1970 and 1983, and neonatal and postneonatal mortality to predict the heights of children born between 1995 and 2005. In contrast to what is found in the literature on developed countries, I find that state level variation in neonatal mortality is a strong predictor of adult and child heights. This may be due to state level variation in, and overall poor levels of, pre-natal nutrition in India.

Suggested Citation

  • Coffey, Diane, 2015. "Early life mortality and height in Indian states," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 177-189.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:17:y:2015:i:c:p:177-189
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2014.10.003
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    2. Alacevich, Caterina & Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2017. "Child height and intergenerational transmission of health: Evidence from ethnic Indians in England," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 65-84.
    3. Aurino, Elisabetta, 2017. "Do boys eat better than girls in India? Longitudinal evidence on dietary diversity and food consumption disparities among children and adolescents," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 99-111.
    4. Mulmi, Prajula & Block, Steven A. & Shively, Gerald E. & Masters, William A., 2016. "Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 63-75.
    5. Ahsan, Md Nazmul & Maharaj, Riddhi, 2018. "Parental human capital and child health at birth in India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 130-149.
    6. Borrescio-Higa, Florencia & Bozzoli, Carlos Guillermo & Droller, Federico, 2019. "Early life environment and adult height: The case of Chile," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 134-143.
    7. Tranchant, Jean-Pierre & Justino, Patricia & Müller, Cathérine, 2020. "Political violence, adverse shocks and child malnutrition: Empirical evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    8. Baten, Joerg, 2017. "Economics, human biology and inequality: A review of “puzzles” and recent contributions from a Deatonian perspective," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 3-8.
    9. Ogasawara, Kota & Matsushita, Yukitoshi, 2018. "Public health and multiple-phase mortality decline: Evidence from industrializing Japan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 198-210.
    10. Yang, Xiao & Gao, Jian & Liu, Jin-Hu & Zhou, Tao, 2018. "Height conditions salary expectations: Evidence from large-scale data in China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 501(C), pages 86-97.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Height; India; Neonatal mortality; Postneonatal mortality; Maternal nutrition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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