Regional Growth, Child Health, and Education: Evidence from a Coal Mining Area of Japan, 1915-1938

Kota Ogasawara, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tatsuki Inoue, Meiji University

How does the regional economic activity influences child height and education (or cognitive abilities) in a quarter-century? In order to answer this question, we estimate the impacts of regional growth in the long run by using the unique micro data on anthropometric measurements (e.g., height and weight) and academic achievements from 1915 to 1938. This data consists of more than 3,000 children aged 12-14 in a coal mine site in Japan. Employing econometric techniques, we test short-run and long-run effects on child height and education by sex to understand how the local economic activity affected child health and cognitive skills. Understanding how the trend of child growth changed and the factors that led to changes in the trend during industrialization is helpful to understand the secular increase in height better. Moreover, understanding how the growth of the local economy influences children’s educational outcomes during industrialization is useful for understanding the relationship between regional economic activity and local human capital accumulation.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 147. Inequality and Well-Being