The Height of Brave Interpretation
By Arnold Kling
Paul Krugman gets excited over research by John Komlos and Benjamin E. Lauderdale. They write,
Results: US heights have stabilized at mid-century and a perio0d of stagnation set in with the birth cohorts 1955-74, concurrent with continual rapid increases in heights in Western and Northern Europe. The American population had been the tallest in the world for two centuries until World War II, but by the end of the 20th century fell behind many of their European counterparts. Only since the most recent birth cohorts 1975-83 is some gain apparent among whites but not among blacks…We conjecture that the American health-care system, as well as the relatively weak welfare safety net might be the reason why human growth in the United States has not performed as well in relative terms as one would expect on the basis of income.
OK. So for the fact that the height of Americans born between 1955 and 1974 “stagnation set in” we blame…today’s American health care system.
Of course. Only thing it could be.
Mark Thoma has Krugman’s take.