This book reconstructs and attempts to explain trends in cohort height and health in twentieth century China. It seeks to make contributions in three areas. Theoretically, adult height is viewed as a "cohort crystal ball," reflecting the condensed early life conditions and various hazards experienced by cohort members during their growing years since conception. Analytically, a model, whose principles have general applications, is developed to reconstruct cohort mean height from more commonly available cross-sectional data. Empirically, a series of mean height by birth cohort in China is estimated, and stratified differential analyses are conducted using the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The trends and differentials make sense in light of bio-physiological theories, historical events, and early life experiences of these cohorts. This piece of work is of value to demographers, economic historians, and other researchers interested in studying trends in population height and health and finding innovative ways to use incomplete data to further our scientific discoveries.
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