Caroline Betts Associate Professor of Economics Ph.D
Even if you didn’t eat your veggies or drink your milk as a child, your height is still in your hands, according to new findings by economists from USC, Harvard University and Peking University.
Department of Economics: Faculty
“Had we only examined the correlations between measured height and health, we would have missed this important insight,” said John Strauss, professor of economics in USC Dornsife, an investigator on a study published in the April issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. “The evidence shows that it is not only early-life events that are associated with how we age, but health decisions in later life as well.”
“Height has been recognized as an acceptable proxy for childhood health conditions, but there are complications there,” said Geert Ridder, professor and interim chair of economics in USC Dornsife, a co-investigator on the study. “Some of adult health might be determined by childhood circumstances, but people shrink differentially, and that shrinkage is also a measure of adult health conditions.”