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Living standards and the distribution of heights: Italy, 1855-1910

Brian A?Hearn, Franco Peracchi () and Giovanni Vecchi ()
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Brian A?Hearn: Franklin & Marshall College

No 229, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing.

Abstract: Mean heights are often used to measure living standards for times and places in which other economic indicators are not available. We propose a novel approach to modeling the distribution of heights, which does not rely on common but often-unwarranted assumptions such as normality. We construct a new database of height distributions for 69 Italian provinces for birth cohorts from 1855 to 1910 and apply our method to control for changes in age at measurement, selection effects due to emigration, and transitory data errors. Analysis of our corrected height distributions yields new insights into the evolution of living standards during Italy's unification and transition to modern economic growth.

Keywords: Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-04
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pri:cheawb:57

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