IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Early-Life Environment and Adult Stature in Brazil during the Period 1950 to 1980


  • Victor Hugo de Oliveira


  • Climent Quintana-Domeque

    (University of Oxford)


We study the relationship between environmental conditions at birth and adult stature using cohort-state level data in Brazil. We find that GDP per capita in the year of birth, not infant mortality rate, is a robust correlate of population stature in Brazil during the period 1950-1980. Our results are robust to a battery of robustness checks. Using a useful bracketing property of the (state) fixed effects and lagged dependent variables (heights) estimators, we find that an increase in GDP per capita of the magnitude corresponding to that period is associated with 43%-68% of the increase in adult height occurring in the same time span. Income, not disease, appears to be the main correlate of Brazilian population heights in the second half of the 20th Century.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Hugo de Oliveira & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2014. "Early-Life Environment and Adult Stature in Brazil during the Period 1950 to 1980," Working Papers 2014-008, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2014-008
    Note: FI

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 3/1/2014
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peracchi, Franco & Arcaleni, Emilia, 2011. "Early-life environment, height and BMI of young men in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 251-264, July.
    2. Jonathan Guryan, 2004. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 919-943, September.
    3. Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2009. "Adult height and childhood disease," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 647-669, November.
    4. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Height, Health, and Inequality: The Distribution of Adult Heights in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 468-474, May.
    5. Reis, Mauricio, 2012. "Differences in nutritional outcomes between Brazilian white and black children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 174-188.
    6. Alves, Denisard & Belluzzo, Walter, 2004. "Infant mortality and child health in Brazil," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 391-410, December.
    7. Monasterio, Leonardo M & Noguerol, Luiz Paulo, 2005. "Growth and inequalities of height in Brazil (1939-1981)," MPRA Paper 769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    infant mortality; income; adult height; bracketing property; fixed effects estimator; lagged dependent variable estimator;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:hka:wpaper:2014-008. 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: (Jennifer Pachon). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.