The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology

ISBN : 9780199389292

John Komlos; Inas Kelly
848 Pages
171 x 248 mm
Pub date
Jul 2016
Oxford Handbooks
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The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology provides an extensive and insightful overview of how economic conditions affect human well-being and how human health influences economic outcomes. Among the topics explored are how variations in height, whether over time, among different socio-economic groups, and in different locations, are important indicators of changes in economic growth and economic development, levels of economic inequality, and economic opportunities for individuals. The book covers a broad geographic range: Africa, Latin and North America, Asia, and Europe. Its temporal scope ranges from the late Iron Age to the present. Taking advantage of recent improvements in data and economic methods, the book also explores how humans' biological conditions influence and are influenced by their economic circumstances, including poverty. Among the issues addressed are how height, body mass index (BMI), and obesity can affect and are affected by productivity, wages, and wealth. How family environment affects health and well-being is examined, as is the importance of both pre-birth and early childhood conditions for subsequent economic outcomes. Reflecting this dynamic and expanding area of research, the volume shows that well-being is a salient aspect of economics, and the new toolkit of evidence from biological living standards enhances understanding of industrialization, commercialization, income distribution, the organization of health care, social status, and the redistributive state affect such human attributes as physical stature, weight, and the obesity epidemic in historical and contemporary populations.


John Komlos and Inas R. Kelly
1. Growth Faltering in the First Thousand Days after Conception and Catch-up Growth
Jere Behrman
2. Biological Measures of Well-Being
Richard Steckel
3. Crisis and Human Biology
Prashant Bharadwaj and Tom Vogl
4. The biological standard of living in Europe from the Late Iron Age to the Little Ice Age
Nikola Koepke
5. Econometrics of Economics and Human Biology
Gregory Colman and Dhaval Dave

6. Body Mass Index Through Time
Scott A. Carson
7. Health, body weight, and obesity
Darius Lakdawalla and Julian Reif
8. Inequality and Heights
Matthias Blum
9. Adult Weight and Height of Native Populations
Asher Rosinger and Ricardo Godoy
10. Slave Heights
Richard Steckel
11. Female Heights and Economic Development: Theory and Practice
Deborah Oxley
12. The Impact of Socioeconomic Inequality On Children's Health and Wellbeing
Baltica Cabieses, Kate E. Pickett, and Richard G. Wilkinson
13. Growth and Maturation of Children and Adolescents: Variability Due to Genetic and Environmental Factors
Alan Rogol
14. Global Perspectives on Economics and Biology
Nicholas Meinzer and Jorg Baten
15. Global BMI Trends
Katrin Kromeyer-Hauschild, Anja Moss, and Martin Wabitsch
16. Poverty and Obesity in Developed Countries
Chad D. Meyerhoefer and Muzhe Yang

17. Biomarkers as Inputs
Steven Lehrer
18. How Genetics Can Inform Health Economics
George Wehby
19. Twins Studies in Economics
Jere Behrman
20. Public and Private Returns to Investing in Nutrition
Harold Alderman and David E. Sahn
21. The Double Burden of Malnutrition
Susan L. Averett and Yang Wang
22. Biological health risks and economic development
Elizabeth Frankenberg, Jessica Ho, and Duncan Thomas
23. Obesity and Income Inequality in OECD Countries
Dejun Su
24. Height and Wages
Olaf Hubler
25. Why do people with higher body weight earn lower wages?
Jane Greve
26. Wealth and Weight
Jay L. Zagorsky
27. Family Economics and Obesity
Sven E. Wilson
28. Obesity and Welfare Regimes
Avner Offer
29. Children's Anthropometrics and Later Disease Incidence
Karri Silventoinen
30. Birth Weight as an Indicator of Human Welfare
W. Peter Ward
31. A Pound of Flesh: birth weight as a measure of endowment in economics research
Florencia Torche and Dalton Conley
32. Neuroeconomics: A Flourishing Field
Jason A. Aimone and Daniel Houser

33. The African Enigma: The Mystery of Tall African Adults Despite Low Incomes
Alexander Moradi and Kalle Hirvonen
34. East Asia on the Rise: The Anthropometric History of China, Japan, and Korea
Daniel Jong Schwekendiek
35. Economics and Human Biology in Latin America
Moramay Lopez-Alonso
36. Racial Differences in Health in the USA: A Long-Run Perspective
Leah Boustan and Robert A. Margo
37. Antebellum Puzzle: The Decline in Heights at the Onset of Modern Economic Growth
Lee A. Craig
38. The Anthropometric History of the Mediterranean World
Brian A'Hearn

About the author: 

John Komlos is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Economic History at the University of Munich. He has also taught at Duke University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Vienna. He received PhDs in both history and economics from the University of Chicago. Komlos founded the field of Economics and Human Biology with the journal of the same name in 2003. He is among the very few scholars to publish in major journals of five disciplines: economics, history, biology, statistics, and demography. His work has been cited extensively around the globe.; Inas R. Kelly is Associate Professor of Economics at Queens College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a research associate in the Health Economics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and has been co-editor of the journal Economics and Human Biology since January 2013. She has published extensively in the field of health economics.

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