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Generational effects and gender height dimorphism in contemporary Spain

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  • Costa-Font, Joan
  • Gil, Joan

Abstract

We examine the influence of socio-environmental (and birth cohort specific) effects on both adult height and gender dimorphism (height gap). Our data set is from contemporary Spain, a country governed by an authoritarian regime for about 40 years. Both OLS and quantile regression approaches are used to examine these patterns. Furthermore, we then draw upon a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition approach to explain the influence of socio-political environment in explaining gender dimorphism. Our findings point to a significant increase in adult height in the generations that benefited from the country's economic liberalization in the 1950s, and especially among those brought up after the transition to democracy in the 1970s. In contrast, individual heterogeneity suggests that only in recent generations has "height increased more among the tallest". We also find that the effects of education on height are greater among shorter individuals. Although the mean gender difference in height is 11.7Â cm, birth cohort and capabilities effects along with other controls explain on average roughly 4% of the gender height dimorphism, irrespective of the quantile considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "Generational effects and gender height dimorphism in contemporary Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:1-18
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Martínez Carrion, José Miguel, 2012. "The comovement between height and some economic development indicators in Spain," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 26464, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    2. Case, Anne & Menendez, Alicia, 2009. "Sex differences in obesity rates in poor countries: Evidence from South Africa," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 271-282, December.
    3. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Costa-Font, Joan & Kossarova, Lucia, 2014. "Anthropometric dividends of Czechoslovakia’s break up," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60719, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Ramón María-Dolores & José Miguel Martínez Carrión, 2009. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain. A historical perspective," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 0912, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    7. Spijker, Jeroen J.A. & Cámara, Antonio D. & Blanes, Amand, 2012. "The health transition and biological living standards: Adult height and mortality in 20th-century Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 276-288.
    8. Singh-Manoux, Archana & Gourmelen, Julie & Ferrie, Jane & Silventoinen, Karri & Guéguen, Alice & Stringhini, Silvia & Nabi, Hermann & Kivimaki, Mika, 2010. "Trends in the association between height and socioeconomic indicators in France, 1970-2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 396-404, December.
    9. María-Dolores, Ramón & Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel, 2011. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain, 1850-1958," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 30-44, January.

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