Early-life environment and adult stature in Brazil: An analysis for cohorts born between 1950 and 1980

Victor Hugo De Oliveira Silva, Climent Quintana-Domeque

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20 Citations (Scopus)


We study the relationship between environmental conditions at birth (GDP per capita and infant mortality rate) and adult stature using cohort-state level data in Brazil for the period 1950–1980. We find that GDP per capita, whose annual percentage growth rate was 4.8% during this period, not infant mortality rate, is a robust correlate of population stature in Brazil. Our results are robust to a battery of robustness checks. Using a useful bracketing property of the (state) fixed effects and lagged dependent variables (heights) estimators, we find that an increase in GDP per capita of the magnitude corresponding to that period is associated with 43–68% of the increase in adult height occurring in the same time span. Income, not disease, appears to be the main correlate of Brazilian population heights in the second half of the 20th Century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalEconomics & Human Biology
Early online date22 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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