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Tall, Active, and Well Made? Maori Stature and Health in New Zealand

Kris Inwood, Les Oxley and Evan Roberts

Working Papers in Economics from University of Waikato

Abstract: We examine physical well-being among New Zealand Maori from the 1700s to the mid-twentieth century. After colonization Maori stature declined slowly. Late nineteenth century Maori and Pakeha (European settlers) stood equally tall, but Maori stature lagged between 1900 and World War II. Stature increased after the 1920s for Pakeha and 1950s for Maori. Convergence has re-established comparable stature. Fertility decline, improvements in socio-economic status and health policy may explain convergence of stature and infant mortality. We hypothesize that the early twentieth century divergence reflects cumulative land loss, disease incidence, rural-urban migration and labour market segregation.

JEL-codes: I14 J15 N30 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 48 pages
Date: 2016-03-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-his and nep-lab
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