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Human Capital, Wealth, and Nutrition in the Bolivian Amazon

Posted: 18 Apr 2006  

Ricardo Godoy

Brandeis University


We analyze anthropometric variables of a society of forager-horticulturalists in the Bolivian Amazon (Tsimane') in 2001-2002. Community variables (e.g., inequality, social capital) explain little of the variance in anthropometric indices of nutritional status, but individual-level variables (schooling, wealth) are positively correlated with nutritional status. Dietary quality (foods high in animal proteins), access to foraging technology, and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants are related to better anthropometric indices.

Keywords: Anthropometrics, Wealth, Human capital, Nutritional status, Tsimane′, Income inequality, Bolivia, Amazon, Indigenous populations, Height, Physical stature, Amerindians, Latin America

JEL Classification: I12, I32, N33

Suggested Citation

Godoy, Ricardo, Human Capital, Wealth, and Nutrition in the Bolivian Amazon. Economics & Human Biology, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 139-162, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Ricardo Godoy (Contact Author)

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454
United States

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