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La talla de los europeos desde 1700: tendencias, ciclos y desigualdad


  • José Miguel Martínez-Carrión

    () (Departamento de Economía Aplicada. Facultad de Economía y Empresa. Universidad de Murcia)


In the last decades, economic historians explore human heights to analyze secular changes produced in the biological well-being of populations and the relationship between economic growth and human development. Anthropometric data are used to complement the knowledge we have about living standards from the Industrial Revolution, such as real wages, mortality, consumption, among other indicators. With male height data of military recruitment from the early eighteenth century and several national surveys on health and height-by-age data from the European Community Panel, biological welfare trends of Europeans in the last three centuries is reconstructed in the article. The results show, on the one hand, the strong growth of European population stature from the 1850s onwards, after a period of height deterioration with unequal intensity in the majority of countries between 1750 and 1850. On the other, it emphasizes the persistence of disparities in the national averages during the late twentieth century and the strong space and territorial inequality mainly associated to environmental factors in the long term. The height increase is that some countries experienced a revolution of human growth, linked to processes of economic growth, industrialization and urbanization, and mainly to improvements in nutrition, income, education and public health.

Suggested Citation

  • José Miguel Martínez-Carrión, 2011. "La talla de los europeos desde 1700: tendencias, ciclos y desigualdad," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1106, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1106

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    Height; human growth; biological well-being; inequality; nutrition; public health; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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