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Early life environment and adult height: The case of Chile

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  • Borrescio-Higa, Florencia
  • Bozzoli, Carlos Guillermo
  • Droller, Federico

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the relationship between adult height and early-life disease environment, proxied by the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the first year of life, using cohort-region level data for Chile for 1960–1989. IMRs show a remarkable reduction of 100 points per thousand over this thirty-year period, declining from 119.4 to 21.0 per thousand. We also document a 0.96 cm increase in height per decade.We find that the drop in IMRs observed among our cohorts explains almost all of the long-term trend in rising adult heights, and that per capita GDP does not appear to have any predictive power in this context. Results are robust in a variety of specifications, which include area and cohort dummies, an adjustment for internal migration, and urbanization rates. Our results point to the long-term effect of a public health policy.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:33:y:2019:i:c:p:134-143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2018.11.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adult height; Infant mortality; Income; Developing country;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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