Advertisement

Height and Health Among Older Chinese

  • Asadul Islam
  • Paul Raschky
  • Russell SmythEmail author
Chapter
  • 14 Downloads

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors examine the relationship between height and health among older Chinese. The study is based on a quantitative analysis of data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS). The results show that taller people enjoy better health at older ages in China. The authors discuss the importance of investment in health human capital in infancy and adolescence, as a way of ensuring better health outcomes in old age.

References

  1. Akresh, R., Bhalotra, S., Leone, M., & Osili, U. O. (2012). War and stature: Growing up during the Nigerian civil war. American Economic Review, 102(3), 273–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almond, D. (2006). Is the 1918 influenza pandemic over? Long-term effects of in utero influenza exposure in the post 1940 US population. Journal of Political Economy, 114, 672–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker, D. J. P. (1990). The fetal and infant origins of adult disease: The womb may be more important than the home. British Medical Journal, 301, 1111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beard, A. S., & Blaser, M. J. (2002). The ecology of height: The effect of microbial transmission on human height. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 45(4), 475–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brunner, E. J. (2005). Social and biological determinants of cognitive aging. Neurobiology of Aging, 26(1), 17–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Case, A., & Paxson, C. (2008a). Stature and status: Height, ability and labor market outcomes. Journal of Political Economy, 116(3), 499–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Case, A., & Paxson, C. (2008b). Height, health and cognitive function at older ages. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 98(2), 463–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Case, A., & Paxson, C. (2011). The long reach of childhood health and circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II study. Economic Journal, 121, F183–F204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Case, A., Paxson, C., & Islam, M. (2009). Making sense of the labor market height premium: Evidence from the British household panel survey. Economics Letters, 102(3), 174–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chatterji, S., Kowal, P., Mathers, C., Maidoo, N., Verdes, E., Smith, J. P., et al. (2008). The health of aging populations in China and India. Health Affairs, 27(4), 1052–1063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. China Daily. (2016, January 8). Empty personal pension accounts. China Daily, p. 8.Google Scholar
  12. Cutler, D., Miller, G. & Norton, D. M. (2007). Evidence on early life income and late life health from America’s dust bowl era. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 104(33), 13244–13249.Google Scholar
  13. Deaton, A., & Arora, R. (2009). Life at the top: The benefits of height. Economics & Human Biology, 7(2), 133–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gao, W., & Smyth, R. (2010). Health human capital, height and wages in China. Journal of Development Studies, 46(3), 466–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guven, C., & Lee, W. S. (2013). Height and cognitive function at older ages: Is height a useful summary measure of early childhood experiences? Health Economics, 22, 224–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guven, C., & Lee, W. S. (2015). Height, aging and cognitive abilities across Europe. Economics & Human Biology, 16, 16–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang, W., Lei, X., Ridder, G., Strauss, J., & Zhao, Y. (2013). Health, height shrinkage and SES in older ages: Evidence from China. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(2), 86–121.Google Scholar
  18. Huang, W., & Zhou, Y. (2013). Effects of education on cognition at older age: Evidence from China’s great famine. Social Science and Medicine, 98, 54–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Islam, A., Raschky, P. A., & Smyth, R. (2017). The long-term health effects of mass political violence: Evidence from China’s cultural revolution. Social Indicators Research, 132(1), 257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ji, C. Y., Ohsawa, S., & Kasai, N. (1995). Secular changes in the stature, weight and age at maximum growth increments of urban Chinese girls from the 1950s to 1985. American Journal of Human Biology, 7(4), 473–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kesternich, I., Siflinger, B., Smith, J. P., & Winter, J. K. (2014). The effects of World War II on economic and health outcomes across Europe. Review of Economics and Statistics, 96(1), 103–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kim, S., Fleisher, B., & Sun, J. Y. (2017). The long-term health effects of fetal malnutrition: Evidence from the 1959–1961 China great leap forward famine. Health Economics, 26, 1264–1277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Leung, S. S. F., Lau, J. T. F., Xu, Y. Y., Tse, L. Y., Huen, K. F., Wong, G. W. K., … Leung, N. K. (1996). Secular changes in standing height, sitting height and sexual maturation of Chinese—The hong kong growth study. Annals of Human Biology, 23(4), 297–306.Google Scholar
  24. Lin, M. J., & Liu, E. M. (2014). Does in utero exposure to illness matter? The 1918 influenza epidemic in Taiwan as a natural experiment. Journal of Health Economics, 37, 152–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Maurer, J. (2010). Height, education and later-life cognition in Latin America and the Caribbean. Economics & Human Biology, 8, 168–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McGovern, M. E. (2014). Comparing the relationship between stature and later life health in six low and middle-income countries. Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 4, 128–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morgan, S. (2007). Stature and famine in China: The welfare of the survivors of the great leap forward famine. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1083059.
  28. Mosca, I., & Wright, R. E. (2016). Height and cognition at older ages: Irish evidence. Economics Letters, 149, 98–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Neelsen, S., & Stratmann, T. (2011). Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek Famine. Journal of Health Economics, 30, 479–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schultz, T. P. (2002). Wage gains associated with height as a form of health human capital. American Economic Review, 92(2), 349–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schwartz, B. S., Stewart, W. F., Bolla, K. I., Simon, D., Bandeen-Roche, K., Gordon, B., … Todd, A. C. (2000). Past adult lead exposure is associated with longitudinal decline in cognitive function. Neurology, 55(8), 1144–1150.Google Scholar
  32. Smith, J. P., Shen, Y., Strauss, J., Yang, Z., & Zhao, Y. (2012). The effects of childhood health on adult health and SES in China. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 61(1), 127–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yamamura, E., Smyth, R., & Zhang, Y. (2015). Decomposing the effect of height on income in China: The role of market and political channels. Economics & Human Biology, 19, 62–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhao, Y., Strauss, J., Park, A., & Sun, Y. (2009). China health and retirement longitudinal study, Pilot User’s Guide. National School of Development, Peking University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMonash UniversityCaulfieldAustralia

Personalised recommendations