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Measuring Inequality in Living Standards with Anthropometric Indicators: The Case of Mexico 1850-1986

Moramay L�pez-Alonso and Roberto V�lez-Grajales
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Roberto Velez Grajales

Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 2015, vol. 16, issue 3, 374-396

Abstract: By analyzing the Mexican case for the period 1850-1986, we argue that the average adult stature of a population can be used as a tool to analyze inequality in living standards. The findings suggest that the secular trend in stature is related to cycles of economic growth, inequality, wars and institutional changes. Such processes affect socioeconomic groups and regions differently and generate unequal living standard patterns. Moreover, male adult average height shows a U-shaped trend for the whole period of study. As a result, Mexico lagged behind on heights with respect to other Latin American economies such as Brazil and Colombia. Two different types of data sources are used for the analysis: military and passport records for the period 1850-1950 and the 2000 Mexican National Health Survey (ENSA-2000) and the 2006 Mexican National Survey on Health and Nutrition (ENSANUT-2006) for the remaining years.

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2015.1044820

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