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Estatura, salud y bienestar en las primeras etapas del crecimiento económico español. Una perspectiva comparada de los niveles de vida


  • José Miguel Martínez Carrión

    () (Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Murcia)


The Spaniards stature evolution between 1850 and 1930 as well as the relationships among nutrition, health, and welfare are analyzed. Data from various Spanish regions together with the reconstruction of a stature series with heights from about 130,000 conscripts from the southeast suggest deterioration of biological standards of living in the generations born in Spain between 1840-50 and 1870 –a period of economic expansion and industry outbreak. Although the stature fall is not significant in comparison with that of The United States and England, the Kuznetsian thesis on environmental deterioration in early industrialization stages could be applied to the Spanish case. Results are observed in the light of the first phases of modern economic growth within an international context. Likewise, our series shows stature increase in those generations born from 1880 extending up to the eve of the First World War. Finally, it is reported an explanatory model of the factors that contributed to the stature trend and, particularly, the stature deterioration, leading to high rates of low heights until the beginning of the Restoration.

Suggested Citation

  • José Miguel Martínez Carrión, 2001. "Estatura, salud y bienestar en las primeras etapas del crecimiento económico español. Una perspectiva comparada de los niveles de vida," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 0102, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:0102

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    Cited by:

    1. Adolfo Meisel & Margarita Vega, 2005. "The Stature of the Colombian Elite Before the Onset of Industrialization, 1870-1919," Borradores de Economia 339, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item


    Stature; physical growth; economic growth; standards of living; health; nutrition; welfare; Spain; XIXth century;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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