The influence of inequality on the standard of living: Worldwide anthropometric evidence from the 19th and 20th centuries

Matthias Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We provide empirical evidence on the existence of the Pigou–Dalton principle. The latter indicates that aggregate welfare is – ceteris paribus – maximized when incomes of all individuals are equalized (and therefore marginal utility from income is as well). Using anthropometric panel data on 101 countries during the 19th and 20th centuries, we determine that there is a systematic negative and concave relationship between height inequality and average height. The robustness of this relationship is tested by means of several robustness checks, including two instrument variable regressions. These findings help to elucidate the impact of economic inequality on welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-452
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Volume11
Issue number4
Early online date21 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Height; Income distribution; Inequality; Welfare; Anthropometry; Biological standard of living

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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