Trends of Children’s Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994 – 2006
The average height of children is an indicator for the quality of nutrition and health care. Heights have never declined over longer time spans in Eastern Germany since 1880 – except for the most recent period 1997-2006. In the Eastern German Land of Brandenburg, a data set of 253,050 pre-school height measurements was compiled and complemented with information on parents’ schooling and employment status. Unemployment might have negative psychological effects, with impact on health care. Both a panel analysis of districts and an assessment at the individual level yield the result that increasing unemployment was in fact the major driving force.
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