EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Does democracy make taller men? Cross-country European evidence

Alberto Batinti and Joan Costa-Font ()

Economics & Human Biology, 2022, vol. 45, issue C

Abstract: We study whether a democracy improves a measure of individual wellbeing: human heights. Drawing on individual-level datasets, we test the democracy and height hypothesis using a battery of eight different measures of democracy and we account for several potential confounders, regional and cohort fixed effects. We document that democracy – or its quality during early childhood – shows a strong and positive conditional correlation with male, but not female, adult stature. Our preferred estimates suggest that being born in a democracy increases average male stature from a minimum of 1.33 to a maximum of 2.4 cm. We also show a positive association when democracy increases from childhood to adolescence, and when we adopt measures of existing democratic capital before birth, and at the end of height plasticity in early adulthood. We also document that democracy is associated with a reduction in inequality of heights distribution. Our estimates are driven by period-specific heterogeneity, namely, early democratizations are associated with taller people more than later ones. Results are robust to the inclusion of countries exposed to communism.

Keywords: Democracy; Wellbeing; Human heights; Waves of democratization; Communism; Europe; Survey data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 P2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X22000132
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Does Democracy Make Taller Men? Cross-Country European Evidence (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:45:y:2022:i:c:s1570677x22000132

DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101117

Access Statistics for this article

Economics & Human Biology is currently edited by J. Komlos, Inas R Kelly and Joerg Baten

More articles in Economics & Human Biology from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

 
Page updated 2023-01-25
Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:45:y:2022:i:c:s1570677x22000132