The comovement between height and some economic development indicators in Spain
This paper investigates the relationship between height and some measures of human welfare in Spain for the period 1850-1978. For that purpose, we employ several filtering methods to measure the correlation between variables such as first order differences, deterministic trends, the Hodrick and Prescott filter, the band-pass filter or den Haan (2000)’s methodology which uses a new set of statistics to characterize the co-movement between variables to capture the dynamic between variables. We always find a strong and positive correlation between height and GDP per cápita, height and the weight of health services in total consumption, and height and openness. By contrast, we have a negative correlation between height and the mortality rate and height and the ratio between the deflator of private consumption and the GDP deflator. By applying den Haan (2000)’s method, we find that the comovement between height and GDP per cápita is always positive, increasing in the medium and long-run. This correlation is higher after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). We also observe that height and mortality rate have a negative correlation in the medium-run. Other health indicators such as the weight of health services in total consumption and the ratio between the deflator of private consumption and the GDP deflator show a positive and negative co-movement in the short-run, respectively. Nevertheless, they change their sign of correlation in the long-run. Finally, we observe a positive co-movement between height and illiteracy rate in the short-run, a negative one in the long-run, and a strong and positive comovement between height and the grade of openness.
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