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Growth and inequalities of height in Brazil (1939-1981)

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the heights of Brazilian people using anthropometric and economic data. The literature suggests that height is a good proxy of the material living conditions of different populations. Data indicate that the difference between the heights of 21 and 65-year-old men is approximately six centimetres. The same value, by coincidence, represents the difference in the stature of the poorest and richest quintiles. Adjusted data show an increase of 3.8 centimetres in the heights of adult male Brazilians born between 1939 and 1981. There are also stable regional differences; in the North and Northeast of the country, heights are about two centimetres lower than the national average for all groups. Regression analyses show that proxy variables related to living conditions during bodily growth, and using regional dummies, were statistically significant causes of the variation in the heights of individuals. In contrast, colour, urban/rural, and inequality variables were not significant. The results replicate what the historiography of the relation between living conditions and stature makes clear: the social environment has a significant impact on the average height of populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Monasterio, Leonardo M & Noguerol, Luiz Paulo, 2005. "Growth and inequalities of height in Brazil (1939-1981)," MPRA Paper 769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:769
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1118/1/MPRA_paper_1118.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Komlos & Marieluise Baur, 2003. "From the Tallest to (One of) the Fattest: The Enigmatic Fate of the American Population in the 20th Century," CESifo Working Paper Series 1028, CESifo.
    2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    3. 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.
    4. John Komlos, 1989. "Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 2, September.
    5. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 349-353, May.
    6. Richard H. Steckel, 1982. "Height and Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 0880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Os altos devem pagar mais impostos?
      by Leonardo Monasterio in Blog do Leonardo Monasterio on 2007-04-19 10:11:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. karina Acosta & Adolfo Meisel, 2012. "Ethnic Groups and Anthropometric Differences in Colombia," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 009913, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    2. 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.
    3. Víctor Hugo de Oliveira Sila & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Infant disease, economic conditions at birth and adult stature in Brazil," Working Papers 2009-33, FEDEA.
    4. Karina Acosta & Adolfo Meisel, 2012. "Ethnic Groups and Anthropometric Differences in Colombia," Borradores de Economia 731, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anthropometrics – Inequality – Indicators of conditions of life – Height - Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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