Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The growth pattern of British children, 1850-1975

Gao, Pei and Schneider, Eric B. (2019) The growth pattern of British children, 1850-1975. Economic History working papers (293). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[img] Text (WP-293) - Published Version
Download (5MB)

Abstract

This paper is the first to use individual-level, longitudinal measures of child growth to document changes in the growth pattern in Britain between the 1850s and 1970s. Based on a unique dataset gathered from the records of the training ship Indefatigable, we analyse the mean heights of boys at admission and their longitudinal growth using regressions that control for observable characteristics. We find a secular increase in boys’ mean height over time, and the height gain was most rapid during the interwar period. In addition, longitudinal growth velocity was low and similar at different ages for boys born before the 1910s, suggesting that there was no marked pubertal growth spurt like that which occurs in modern populations. However, for boys born in the 1910s and later, higher growth velocities associated with pubertal growth appeared for boys in a narrow range of ages, 14 to 16. Thus, it appears that there was a substantial change in the growth pattern beginning in the 1910s with the emergence of a strong pubertal growth spurt. The timing of this shift implies that declines in child morbidity and improved hygiene mattered more for the changing growth pattern than improvements in nutrition that occurred before the 1910s.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N35 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Asia including Middle East
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2019 15:18
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 23:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100097

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics