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Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest

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  • Carl‐Johan Dalgaard
  • Holger Strulik

Abstract

We hypothesize that the timing of the fertility transition is an important determinant of comparative physiological development. In support, we provide a model of long-run growth, which elucidates the links between population size, average body size and income during development. Industrialization is shown to be accompanied by a reduction in family size and an intensi cation of nutrition per child. Early transition countries are therefore expected to be more developed today, economically and physiologically. Empirically, the timing of the fertility transition is strongly correlated with average body size across countries.
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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2292-2323
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-598
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2014. "Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development," Discussion Papers 14-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    2. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2014. "Cause of death and development in the US," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 143-153.
    3. Franck, Raphaël & Galor, Oded, 2021. "Flowers of evil? Industrialization and long run development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 108-128.
    4. Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime, 2021. "Can autocracy promote literacy? Evidence from a cultural alignment success story," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 412-436.
    5. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc P. B. Klemp, 2020. "The Ancient Origins of the Wealth of Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8624, CESifo.
    6. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2021. "Fetal origins—A life cycle model of health and aging from conception to death," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 1276-1290, June.
    7. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Hungry children age faster," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 211-220.
    8. Madsen, Jakob Brøchner & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity-quality tradeoff," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 393, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Accounting for Fetal Origins: Health Capital vs. Health Deficits," Discussion Papers 17-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    10. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Erel, Devin & Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Aging in the USA: Similarities and disparities across time and space," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 384, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Long-run improvements in human health: Steady but unequal," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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