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The biological standard of living in Indonesia during the 20th century: Evidence from the age at menarche

Date

2019

Authors

van der Eng, Pierre
Sohn, Kitae

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier

Abstract

This article analyses long-term changes in the mean age at menarche (MAM) as a biological indicator of changes in the standard of living in Indonesia. It finds that MAM was about 15.5 for birth cohorts in the late-19th century, decreasing to 14.5 by the 1930s, at which level it stagnated until the gradual decrease resumed since the early 1960s to around 12.5 in the mid-2000s. The article considers that long-term improvements in nutrition, educational attainment and health care explain these trends. An international comparison of long-term changes finds that MAM in Indonesia was much lower than in Korea and China until respectively 1970 and 1990, but comparable to Japan until 1950 and to Malaysia until 1930. The article presents reasons why these differences are unlikely to be related to dissimilarities in climate and ethnicity, and concludes that they are indicative of relative standards of living.

Description

Keywords

Living standards, Human growth, Menarche, Indonesia, Asia

Citation

Source

Economics and Human Biology

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1016/j.ehb.2018.11.004

Restricted until

2099-12-31