Taller - Healthier - more equal? The biological standard of living in Switzerland in the second half of the 20th century
This paper analyzes the trends in physical stature and body mass of the Swiss population born between 1955 and 1985, based on data collected in the "Living in Switzerland Survey" (Swiss Household Panel) of 2004. Aside from the time trend, we investigate the impact of educational and marital status as well as spatial effects on height and BMI. The results corroborate previous studies: average height increased during the second half of the 20th century for both women and men, better educated individuals are tallest, divorced men are shorter than married men and urban populations enjoy a height advantage over rural ones. We also compare the level and the trend in height to other postindustrial populations to identify key causes of physical growth and conclude that the quality of the health care systems and equal access to it seem to have a greater impact than other redistributive aspects of the welfare state. The relatively low level of inequality in health led to average height in Switzerland that are similar to those obtained in the Scandinavian social-democratic welfare states. Other measures such as income inequality do not have a high explanatory power for the average stature of the Swiss population.
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.:
- Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
- Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
- Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H., 2006. "Time discounting and the body mass index: Evidence from the Netherlands," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 39-61, January.
- Sunder, Marco, 2003. "The making of giants in a welfare state: the Norwegian experience in the 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 267-276, June.
- Fogel, Robert W, 1994.
"Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
- Fogel, Robert W., 1993. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heineck, Guido, 2006. "Height and weight in Germany, evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel, 2002," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 359-382, December.
- Robert E. Leu & Martin Schellhorn, 2006. "The Evolution of Income-related Health Inequalities in Switzerland Over Time," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 666-690, December.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1980. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2.
- Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
- John Komlos, 2008. "Stagnation of Heights Among Second-Generation U.S.-Born Army Personnel," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(2), pages 445-455.
- Hiermeyer, Martin, 2009. "Height and BMI values of German conscripts in 2000, 2001 and 1906," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 366-375, December.
- Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:67-79. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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.