Economic transformation and biological welfare in colonial Burma: Regional differentiation in the evolution of average height
Did economic development result in an improvement in biological welfare in the tropics before the diffusion of modern public health techniques in the 1950s and 1960s? Between the mid-19th and early 20th century, Lower Burma experienced a rapid rise in population and became increasingly commercialized as a major rice exporter. Land reclamation on a massive scale in the Irrawaddy delta required an arduous process of jungle clearance, land drainage and preparation, and canal and bund construction, mostly in malarial swamps. Once paddy lands were created, rice was grown with rudimentary tools in malarial zones. By contrast, in most parts of Upper Burma the economy remained more subsistence-oriented, and less commercialized. In this paper, we investigate changes in physical stature by processing and analyzing data reported in two anthropometric surveys conducted in various regions of Upper and Lower Burma in 1904 and in 1938-1941. An inverted U curve is observed in the evolution of average height in Lower Burma, while stature remained fairly stable in Upper Burma until the 1930s.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Morris Altman, 2003. "Staple theory and export-led growth: constructing differential growth," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 43(3), pages 230-255, November.
- Kimura, Mitsuhiko, 1993. "Standards of Living in Colonial Korea: Did the Masses Become Worse Off or Better Off Under Japanese Rule?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(03), pages 629-652, September.
- Komlos, John, 1998.
"Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 779-802, September.
- John Komlos, "undated". "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," Articles by John Komlos 7, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
- Olds, Kelly B., 2003. "The biological standard of living in Taiwan under Japanese occupation," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 187-206, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:2:p:212-227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.