Cultural and Genetic Influences on the “Biological Standard of Living”

Matthias Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study suggests an improvement of a popular measure of living standards, namely the biological standard of living. One influence on it is a population's consumption pattern. Since there are different dietary patterns all over the world, researchers estimate the influences of national diets on final average male height. These habits are predominantly related to income, but also to genetics, cultural history, and decisions regarding whether to trade or consume high-quality foodstuffs. Systematic differences are found when analyzing protein-consumption habits among 51 countries between the 1960s and the 1980s. The author calculates metric correction values which can facilitate international comparisons of male average height. While the proposed correction values make a little difference on average, they can be valuable in a comparison of countries with markedly different dietary patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalHistorical Methods
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • biological standard of living, consumption, height, lactose intolerance, animal protein, dietary patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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