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Long run trends in the heights of European men, 19th-20th centuries

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  • Hatton, Timothy J.
  • Bray, Bernice E.

Abstract

This paper presents 5-yearly data on the height of young adult men in 15 Western European countries for birth cohorts from the middle of the 19th to the end of the 20th century. The results indicate that from the 1870s to the 1970s average height increased by around 11Â cm, or more than 1Â cm per decade. The main finding is that for the northern and middle European groups of countries the gains in height were most rapid in the period 1911-15 to 1951-55, a period that embraced two World Wars and the Great Depression but also witnessed advances in public health and hygiene. For the southern countries growth was fastest in the period 1951-55 to 1976-80. These findings suggest that advances in height were determined not only by income and living standards but also by a variety of other socioeconomic trends.

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  • Hatton, Timothy J. & Bray, Bernice E., 2010. "Long run trends in the heights of European men, 19th-20th centuries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 405-413, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:3:p:405-413
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    Cited by:

    1. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Leblanc, Josée & Sahn, David E., 2011. "Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 419-437.
    2. Bielecki, Emily M. & Haas, Jere D. & Hulanicka, Barbara, 2012. "Secular changes in the height of Polish schoolboys from 1955 to 1988," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 310-317.
    3. repec:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2292-2323 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gerard J. Berg & Pia R. Pinger & Johannes Schoch, 2016. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later in Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 465-506, March.
    5. Andrea Brandolini & Giovanni Vecchi, 2011. "The Well-Being of Italians: A Comparative Historical Approach," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 19, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2014. "Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development," Discussion Papers 14-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. B. Piedad Urdinola & Carlos Ospino, 2015. "Long-term consequences of adolescent fertility: The Colombian case," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(55), pages 1487-1518, June.
    8. Guven, Cahit & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2015. "Height, aging and cognitive abilities across Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 16-29.
    9. de Beer, Hans, 2016. "The biological standard of living in Suriname, c. 1870–1975," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 140-154.
    10. Bosina, Ernst & Weidmann, Ulrich, 2017. "Estimating pedestrian speed using aggregated literature data," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 468(C), pages 1-29.
    11. Julianne Treme & Lee A. Craig, 2013. "Urbanization, Health And Human Stature," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65, pages 130-141, May.
    12. Rowena Gray & Gaia Narciso & Gaspare Tortorici, 2017. "Globalization, Agricultural Markets and Mass Migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1713, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    13. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    14. Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel & Cañabate-Cabezuelos, José, 2016. "Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition," MPRA Paper 74356, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 2016.
    15. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:61-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2016. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2292-2323, December.
    17. José M. Martínez-Carrión & Pedro M. Pérez-Castroviejo & Javier Puche-Gil & Josep M. Ramon-Muñoz, 2014. "Living standards and rural-urban height gap during the early stages of modern economic growth in Spain," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1410, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
    18. Schneider, Eric B., 2017. "Fetal health stagnation: Have health conditions in utero improved in the United States and Western and Northern Europe over the past 150 years?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 18-26.
    19. Lu, Ruoran & Zeng, Xiaopeng & Duan, Jiali & Gao, Ting & Huo, Da & Zhou, Tao & Song, Yi & Deng, Ying & Guo, Xiuhua, 2016. "Secular growth trends among children in Beijing (1955–2010)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 210-220.
    20. Grasgruber, P. & Cacek, J. & Kalina, T. & Sebera, M., 2014. "The role of nutrition and genetics as key determinants of the positive height trend," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 81-100.
    21. 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.
    22. Guven, Cahit & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2011. "Height and Cognitive Function among Older Europeans: Do People from "Tall" Countries Have Superior Cognitive Abilities?," IZA Discussion Papers 6210, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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