Anthropometric Dividends of Czechoslovakia's Break Up
50 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2014
Date Written: November 28, 2014
Processes of transition to democracy and country break up stand out as ideal experiments to estimate the impact of wide institutional reform on well-being. Changes in population heights are regarded as virtuous pointers of well-being improvements in psycho-social environments, which improve with democracy. We analyzed a unique dataset containing individual heights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to measure the retrospective well-being effects of the two transitions to liberal democracy and capitalism after the split up of Czechoslovakia. An additional year spent under democracy increases height by 0.286 cm for Slovaks and 0.148 cm for Czechs. Although transition paths differ across the two countries, the absolute height gap between Slovaks and the Czechs did not change. Slovaks benefited more than the Czechs in the bottom and mid tercile.
Keywords: height, democracy, transition, secession, Czechoslovakia, Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, height dimorphism
JEL Classification: O52
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