IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Explaining stunting in nineteenth century France

Listed author(s):
  • Gilles Postel-Vinay
  • David Sahn


In this paper we examine the share of the French men who exhibit stunted growth during the course of the 19th century. We use data collected on all men who were called up for possible conscription into the French army with the unit of analysis being the shares of 20 year old men in the country’s 82 administrative departments whose stature is below 1.62 meters. Our descriptive data on changes in the share of stunted men point to a dramatic decline in the percent of the population that is stunted across the century, especially in the southern part of France. Our models of the determinants of stunting are limited to two periods, one for the early and one for the later part of the century. We focus on the role of expenditures on education, the availability of health care personnel, local wages, the distribution of assets, as well as a dummy variable for Paris, and decompose changes in the share of stunted men into the effects of levels and returns to covariates. All covariates are strongly significant, although, the effect of education spending is particularly important. Living in highly urbanized and congested Paris contributed to poor health status.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA in its series Research Unit Working Papers with number 0606.

in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Handle: RePEc:lea:leawpi:0606
Contact details of provider: Postal:
INRA-LEA, 48, Boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France

Phone: 331 43136364
Fax: 331 43136362
Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lea:leawpi:0606. 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: (Madeleine Roux)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.