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The effects on stature of poverty, family size, and birth order: British children in the 1930s

Hatton, TJ and Martin, RM (2009) 'The effects on stature of poverty, family size, and birth order: British children in the 1930s.' Oxford Economic Papers, 62 (1). 157 - 184. ISSN 0030-7653

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Abstract

This article examines the effects of socio-economic conditions on the standardized heights and body mass index (BMI) of children in Interwar Britain, using the Boyd Orr cohort, a survey of predominantly poor families taken in 1937-9. We examine the trade-off between child quality (in the form of health outcomes) and the number of children in the family. We find that birth order and family size have negative effects on the heights of children, but not on their BMI. Household income per capita positively influences height but, even after accounting for this, the number of children in the family has a negative effect on height. This latter effect is closely associated with overcrowding and with the degree of cleanliness or hygiene in the household, which conditions exposure to factors predisposing to disease. We also analyse follow-up data, which indicates that the effects of family size on height persisted into adulthood. © Oxford University Press 2009. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 21:08
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 00:17
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/3243

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