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Regional inequality and convergence in southern Europe. Evidence from Height in Italiy and Spain, 1850-2000

José Martínez-Carrión () and Ramón Maria-Dolores

No 1605, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociación Española de Historia Económica

Abstract: This paper analyzes the growth of height and its regional variability in Spain and Italy, among the generational cohorts of 1850 and 1980. Using male height data drawn from the military enlistment records of the period between 1870 and 2000, this paper explores inequality and regional convergence in the two countries. This long period was characterised by economic growth and the expansion of human welfare. Regional inequality and convergence are analysed using sigma and beta convergence, a methodology based on panel data to obtain the speed of convergence. The results show that in 1850 in both countries the height measurements started at low levels, but the two countries recorded a significant increase in the average height over the long term, which became more intense in Italy as from the beginning of the twentieth century, and in Spain from 1950. Therefore, there was divergence in the first half of the century and strong convergence at the end of the century. The regional inequality was more significant in the Italian case. Processes of regional convergence can be observed in both countries during the second half of the twentieth century, but at the end of the period, inequality was lower in Spain than in Italy.

Keywords: height; biological welfare; Spain; Italy; economic development; regional inequality; convergence. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 N33 N94 R13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-gro and nep-his
Date: 2016-02
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