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Anthropometric Dividends of Czechoslovakia's Break Up

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  • Costa-Font, J.
  • Kossarova, L.

Abstract

Processes of transition to democracy and country break up stand out as ideal experiments to estimate the impact of wide institutional reform on well-being. Changes in population heights are regarded as virtuous pointers of well-being improvements in psycho-social environments, which improve with democracy. We analyzed a unique dataset containing individual heights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to measure the retrospective well-being effects of the two transitions to liberal democracy and capitalism after the split up of Czechoslovakia. An additional year spent under democracy increases height by 0.286cm for Slovaks and 0.148cm for Czechs. Results were robust to using an alternative dataset and suggest that although transition paths differ across the two countries, the absolute height gap between Slovaks and the Czechs did not change. Slovaks benefited more thanthe Czechs in the bottom and mid tercile.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, J. & Kossarova, L., 2015. "Anthropometric Dividends of Czechoslovakia's Break Up," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:15/04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    height; democracy; transition; secession; Czechoslovakia; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; height dimorphism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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