IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hit/hitcei/2010-5.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rich and slim, but relatively short Explaining the halt in the secular trend in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Bassino, Jean-Pascal
  • Kato, Noriko

Abstract

An almost complete halt in the secular trend in stature at a relatively low level is observed in Japan since the late 1980s with average height of around 171 cm for males and 158 cm for females at age 18. Unidentified characteristics in the Japanese genetic pool or in the nutritional intake do not provide a convincing explanation. Japan is unique among OECD countries in combining contrasted health outcomes: a stagnation of height suggests a decline in biological well-being, but this picture is not consistent with high life expectancy and extremely low prevalence of infant mortality, overweight/obesity, and other pathologies. Individual data that could allow investigating the influence of socio-economic and other environmental conditions are unavailable. As a second best, we take advantage of the regional variance in average height and other indicators across the 47 Japanese prefectures and use data covering the period 1950-2005. A positive and significant influence of income and housing conditions on height is identified but the effect is fading. Caloric restraint of pregnant women, and the decrease in sleeping time observed since the 1980s appear as possible explanatory variables of the halt in the secular trend and a symptom of a decline in well-being. Public health policy implications are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Kato, Noriko, 2010. "Rich and slim, but relatively short Explaining the halt in the secular trend in Japan," CEI Working Paper Series 2010-5, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2010-5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/hermes/ir/re/29192/wp2010-5.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Komlos, John & Baur, Marieluise, 2004. "From the tallest to (one of) the fattest: the enigmatic fate of the American population in the 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 57-74, March.
    2. Yamada, Tadashi & Yamada, Tetsuji & Kang, J. Moonwon, 1999. "A study of time allocation of Japanese households," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 41-55, January.
    3. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2006. "Time Vs. Goods: The Value Of Measuring Household Production Technologies," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 1-16, March.
    4. Haines, Michael R. & Craig, Lee A. & Weiss, Thomas, 2003. "The Short and the Dead: Nutrition, Mortality, and the “Antebellum Puzzle†in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 382-413, June.
    5. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, Eric B. & Ogasawara, Kota, 2018. "Disease and child growth in industrialising Japan: Critical windows and the growth pattern, 1917–39," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 64-80.
    2. Maruyama, Shiko & Nakamura, Sayaka, 2015. "The decline in BMI among Japanese women after World War II," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 125-138.
    3. Schneider, Eric B., 2018. "Sample selection biases and the historical growth pattern of children," Economic History Working Papers 87075, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    4. Ogasawara, Kota & Inoue, Tatsuki, 2021. "The long-run heterogeneous effects of a cholera pandemic on stature: Evidence from industrializing Japan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    5. Schneider, Eric B. & Ogasawara, Kota, 2017. "Disease and child growth in industrialising Japan: assessing instantaneous changes in growth and changes in the growth pattern, 1911-39," Economic History Working Papers 84066, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Scott A. Carson, 2008. "Geography and Insolation in 19th Century US African-American and White Statures," CESifo Working Paper Series 2229, CESifo.
    2. Stifel, David C. & Averett, Susan L., 2009. "Childhood overweight in the United States: A quantile regression approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 387-397, December.
    3. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
    4. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2010. "Incentives, time use and BMI: The roles of eating, grazing and goods," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 2-15, March.
    5. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    6. L. Pieroni & D. Lanari & L. Salmasi, 2013. "Food prices and overweight patterns in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(1), pages 133-151, February.
    7. Scott A. Carson, 2007. "Health during Industrialization: Evidence from the 19th Century Pennsylvania State Prison System," CESifo Working Paper Series 1975, CESifo.
    8. Scott A. Carson, 2007. "Slave Prices, Geography and Insolation in 19th Century African-American Stature," CESifo Working Paper Series 2105, CESifo.
    9. Scott A. Carson, 2007. "African-American and White Inequality in the American South: Evidence from the 19th Century Missouri State Prison," CESifo Working Paper Series 1954, CESifo.
    10. Scott A. Carson, 2017. "Late 19th and Early 20th Century Native and Immigrant Body Mass Index Values," CESifo Working Paper Series 6771, CESifo.
    11. Gomula, Aleksandra & Nowak-Szczepanska, Natalia & Danel, Dariusz P. & Koziel, Slawomir, 2015. "Overweight trends among Polish schoolchildren before and after the transition from communism to capitalism," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 246-257.
    12. François Gardes & Imen Sayadi & Christophe Starzec, 2015. "The full equivalence scales: an estimation integrating the monetary and time dimensions of households’ expenditures [Les échelles d’équivalence complètes : une estimation intégrant les dimensions m," Post-Print hal-01307097, HAL.
    13. Md. Alauddin Majumder, 2013. "Does Obesity Matter for Wages? Evidence from the United States," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 200-217, June.
    14. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2012. "The impact of long‐term participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program on child obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 386-404, April.
    15. Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes & Christophe Starzec & François Gardes, 2013. "A new estimation of the size of informal economy using monetary and full expenditures in a complete demand system," Post-Print halshs-00841346, HAL.
    16. von Hinke Kessler Scholder S, 2009. "Genetic Markers as Instrumental Variables: An Application to Child Fat Mass and Academic Achievement," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/25, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    17. Peng Nie & Andrew E. Clarck & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Lanlin Ding, 2020. "Income-related health inequality in urban China (1991-2015): The role of homeownership and housing conditions," Working Papers 524, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    18. Eibich, Peter & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2014. "Examining the Structure of Spatial Health Effects in Germany Using Hierarchical Bayes Models," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 305-320.
    19. Komlos, John, 2012. "A Three-Decade “Kuhnian” History of the Antebellum Puzzle: Explaining the shrinking of the US population at the onset of modern economic growth," Discussion Papers in Economics 12758, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    20. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman, 2013. "Estimating Obesity Rates in Europe in the Presence of Self-Reporting Errors," Economics Department Working Paper Series n236-13.pdf, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    height; income; housing; sleep; sexual dimorphism; Japan;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2010-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cehitjp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Reiko Suzuki The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Reiko Suzuki to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cehitjp.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.