Long-Term Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Indonesia

Australian National University Economics & Econometrics Working Paper No. 514

36 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011

See all articles by Pierre van der Eng

Pierre van der Eng

Australian National University - College of Business & Economics

Joerg Baten

University of Tuebingen

Mojgan Stegl

University of Tuebingen

Date Written: February 8, 2010

Abstract

This paper analyses the relationship between economic growth and improvements in the standard of living, indicated by average heights. It uses four sets of anthropometric data to construct time series of average human height since the 1770s. The paper observes a significant decline of heights in the 1870s, followed by only modest recovery during the next three decades. Both are related to a sequence of disasters. Average heights increased from the 1900s, accelerating after World War II. The Japanese occupation and war of independence in the 1940s were a set-back. Average height growth is related to improvements in food supply and the disease environment, particularly hygiene and medical care. GDP per capita and average height followed each other in broad terms, but the correlation is far from perfect. The paper offers several hypotheses to explain this fact.

Keywords: human heights, Indonesia, welfare, economic development

JEL Classification: N35, O15, I31

Suggested Citation

van der Eng, Pierre and Baten, Joerg and Stegl, Mojgan, Long-Term Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Indonesia (February 8, 2010). Australian National University Economics & Econometrics Working Paper No. 514. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1699972 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1699972

Pierre Van der Eng (Contact Author)

Australian National University - College of Business & Economics ( email )

Research School of Management
26C Kingsley Street
Acton, ACT 2601
Australia
+61 2 6125 5438 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 8796 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/about/staff-directory/?profile=Pierre-van%20der%20Eng

Joerg Baten

University of Tuebingen ( email )

Wilhelmstr. 19
72074 Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

Mojgan Stegl

University of Tuebingen ( email )

Wilhelmstr. 19
72074 Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

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