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Comparing the Relationship Between Stature and Later Life Health in Six Low and Middle Income Countries

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  • Mark E. McGovern

    (Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between stature and later life health in 6 emerging economi– es, each of which are expected to experience significant increases in the mean age of their populations over the coming decades. Using data from the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) and pilot data from the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), I show that various measures of health are associated with height, a commonly used proxy for childhood environment. In the pooled sample, a 10cm increase in height is associated with between a 2 and 3 percentage point increase in the probability of being in very good or good self-reported health, a 3 percentage point increase in the probability of reporting no difficulties with activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, and between a fifth and a quarter of a standard deviation increase in grip strength and lung function. Adopting a methodology previously used in the research on inequality, I also summarise the height-grip strength gradient for each country using the concentration index, and provide a decomposition analysis. JEL Codes: I12, I14, D30, O15

Suggested Citation

  • Mark E. McGovern, 2016. "Comparing the Relationship Between Stature and Later Life Health in Six Low and Middle Income Countries," PGDA Working Papers 11814, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  • Handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:11814
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven A. Haas & Katsuya Oi & Zhangjun Zhou, 2017. "The Life Course, Cohort Dynamics, and International Differences in Aging Trajectories," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(6), pages 2043-2071, December.
    2. Slawa Rokicki & Mark E. McGovern, 2020. "Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children's Time Use," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(3), pages 647-676, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early Life Conditions; Health; Ageing; Height; Inequality; Low and Middle Income Countries; LASI; SAGE;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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