Regional Inequality and Convergence in Southern Europe. Evidence from Height in Italy and Spain, 1850-2000

30 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2018

See all articles by José-Miguel Martínez-Carrión

José-Miguel Martínez-Carrión

University of Murcia - Department of Applied Economics

Date Written: September 30, 2017

Abstract

This paper analyses the growth in height and its regional variability in Spain and Italy between the generational cohorts of 1850 and 1980. Using male height data drawn from the military enlistment records of the period between 1870 and 2000, this paper explores inequality and regional convergence in both countries. This long period was characterised by economic growth and the increase of human welfare. Regional inequality and convergence are analysed using sigma and beta convergence, a methodology based on panel data to obtain the speed of convergence. The results show that in 1850 height measurements started at low levels, but the two countries recorded a significant increase in the average height over the long term, which became more intense in Italy from the beginning of the twentieth century and in Spain from 1950. Therefore, there was divergence in the first half of the century and strong convergence at the end of the century. Regional inequality was more significant in the Italian case. Processes of regional convergence can be observed in both countries during the second half of the twentieth century, although inequality was lower in Spain than in Italy at the end of the period.

Keywords: Height, Biological Welfare, Spain, Italy, Economic Development, Regional Inequality, Convergence

JEL Classification: I14, N33, N94, R13

Suggested Citation

Martínez-Carrión, José-Miguel, Regional Inequality and Convergence in Southern Europe. Evidence from Height in Italy and Spain, 1850-2000 (September 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3113537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3113537

José-Miguel Martínez-Carrión (Contact Author)

University of Murcia - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

3010 Murcia
Spain
+34 868883832 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://webs.um.es/jcarrion/

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