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

Listed author(s):
  • Mark E. McGovern

    ()

    (Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies)

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

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Paper provided by Program on the Global Demography of Aging in its series PGDA Working Papers with number 11814.

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Date of creation: Oct 2016
Handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:11814
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/pgda

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  36. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2012. "The relationship between low birthweight and socioeconomic status in Ireland," Working Papers 201214, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  37. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
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