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The height production function from birth to early adulthood

Number: 43
Year: 2011
Author(s): Elisabetta De Cao
Keywords: height,health,early-life events,production function,Philippines
In this paper I study the determinants of height from birth to early adulthood in the Philippines. In order to do that, I specify a height production function. The structure of the production function allows height to be the result of the accumulation of inputs over time. I use a rich longitudinal data set on Filipino children born in 1983 and followed for more than 20 years. The results show that inputs from conception to birth are relevant at each age of the children. Nutrition inputs have a positive effect on the child's height, with similar effects across ages. The shorter the distance between the age when the nutrition input is applied and the age when height is measured, the higher the impact on height. The earlier disease inputs are experienced, the larger their negative effect on height. The older the child, the stronger the effects of past diseases. Thus my paper provides evidence on the importance of early life events also for final height.

Elisabetta De Cao

Universita Bocconi, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Tor Vergata University



Keywords: height, health, early-life events, production function, Philippines


Download: The paper may be downloaded here.