Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century

30 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2014

See all articles by Roy E. Bailey

Roy E. Bailey

University of Essex

Timothy J. Hatton

University of Essex - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kris Inwood

University of Guelph - Department of Economics

Abstract

We examine the health and height of men born in England and Wales in the 1890s who enlisted in the army at the time of the First World War. We take a sample of the army service records and use this information to find the recruits as children in the 1901 census. Econometric results indicate that adult height was negatively related to the number of children in the household as well as to the share of earners, the degree of crowding, and positively to socioeconomic class. Adding the characteristics of the local registration district has little effect on the household-level effects. But local conditions were important; in particular the industrial character of the district, local housing conditions and the female illiteracy rate. We interpret these as representing the negative effect on height of the local disease environment. The results suggest that changing conditions at both household and locality levels contributed to the increase in height and health in the following decades.

Keywords: heights of recruits, household structure, health in Britain

JEL Classification: I12, J13, N33

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Roy E. and Hatton, Timothy J. and Inwood, Kris, Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8128. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2429647

Roy E. Bailey (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
44 1 206 872763 (Phone)
44 1 206 872724 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~rbailey

Timothy J. Hatton

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 1206 872182 (Phone)
+44 1206 872724 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kris Inwood

University of Guelph - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1
Canada

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