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Generational effects and gender height dimorphism in contemporary Spain

By Joan Costa-i-Font and Joan Gil Transfi

Abstract

We examine the influence of socio-environmental (and birth cohort specific) effects on both adult height and gender dimorphism (height gap). Our data set is from contemporary Spain, a country governed by an authoritarian regime for about 40 years. Both OLS and quantile regression approaches are used to examine these patterns. Furthermore, we then draw upon a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition approach to explain the influence of socio-political environment in explaining gender dimorphism. Our findings point to a significant increase in adult height in the generations that benefited from the country’s economic liberalization in the 1950s, and especially among those brought up after the transition to democracy in the 1970s. In contrast, individual heterogeneity suggests that only in recent generations has ‘‘height increased more among the tallest’’.We also find that the effects of education on height are greater among shorter individuals.Although the mean gender difference in height is 11.7 cm, birth cohort and capabilities effects along with other controls explain on average roughly 4% of the gender height dimorphism, irrespective of the quantile considered

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.ehb.2007.10.004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:3497
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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