Bones of Contention: The Political Economy of Height Inequality

65 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2009 Last revised: 14 Jan 2011

See all articles by Carles Boix

Carles Boix

Princeton University - Department of Politics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 1, 2007

Abstract

A growing literature in politics and economics employs measures of the height and health condition of human beings to gauge the level of well-being and income across societies and over time. We use both archeological data of skeletal remains and actual records of heights (collected by armies, anthropologists) to measure the degree of variance in the distribution of heights, and therefore, the degree of inequality since prehistoric times. We find that the type of economy and the type of political institutions strongly covary with our measures of inequality.

Keywords: height, inequality, economic development

JEL Classification: D70, I11, I31, 040

Suggested Citation

Boix, Carles and Rosenbluth, Frances McCall, Bones of Contention: The Political Economy of Height Inequality (July 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1352626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1352626

Carles Boix (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Politics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-2139 (Phone)

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5256 (Phone)

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