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  • María-Isabel Ayuda (a1) and Javier Puche (a1)

This article analyses the biological welfare and inequality of the male population of the irrigated area of Valencia between 1859 and 1939. It studies the effects that the agrarian development process had on physical welfare and the relationship between height and access to land ownership. Height data for conscripts in five municipalities constitute the source for the study. The results reveal that there was a growing trend in the evolution of heights in the irrigated area of Valencia at the beginning of agrarian capitalism. Nutritional inequalities can be observed between farmers and farm workers: land owners were taller than landless labourers. However, this biological inequality diminished over the period under study.


Este artículo analiza el bienestar y la desigualdad biológica de la población masculina del regadío valenciano entre 1859 y 1939. Estudia los efectos que el proceso de desarrollo agrario tuvo en el bienestar físico, y la relación entre estatura y acceso a la propiedad de la tierra. Los datos de estatura de los mozos de cinco municipios constituyen la principal fuente utilizada. Los resultados revelan que la evolución de las estaturas en las áreas del regadío valenciano fue creciente en los comienzos del capitalismo agrario. Se observan desigualdades nutricionales entre campesinos con y sin tierras: los primeros eran más altos siempre que los jornaleros sin tierras. Sin embargo, la desigualdad biológica tendió a disminuir durante el periodo de estudio.

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This article has been financed by funds corresponding to the research projects: HAR2013-47182-C2-2-P, ECO2015-65582, ECO2015-71534-REDT, ECO2016-74940-P and HAR2016-76814-C2-2-P, financed by the MEC-MICINN; 19512/PI/14, financed by the Fundación Séneca, Agency of Science and Technology of the Region of Murcia; and by the consolidated research groups «Econometric model selection» and «Agri-food economic history (XIX-XX centuries)», financed by the Department of Science, Technology and Universities of the Government of Aragon and the European Regional Development Fund. A preliminary version of this article was presented and discussed in the «Workshop on Biological Well-being in Modern Rural Spain», held in Madrid in June 2015 and in the 11th Congress of the Iberian Association of Historical Demography, held in Cádiz in June 2016. The authors thank the valuable comments of the attendees. The authors also thank three anonymous referees and the editor for their useful comments and suggestions, and wish to express their thanks to Salvador Calatayud, José Miguel Martínez Carrión, Vicente Pinilla and Javier Silvestre for their comments during the writing of this article.


Department of Economic Analysis, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, Gran Vía 2, 50005, Zaragoza, Spain.


Department of Applied Economics and Economic History, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, Gran Vía 2, 50005, Zaragoza, Spain.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. I. Ayuda , and J. Puche (2014): «Determinants of Height and Biological Inequality in Mediterranean Spain, 1859-1967». Economics and Human Biology 15, pp. 101-119.

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V. Pinilla , and M. I. Ayuda (2010): «Taking Advantage of Globalization? Spain and the Building of the International Market in Mediterranean Horticultural Products, 1850–1935». European Review of Economic History 14, pp. 239-274.

J. Silvestre (2005): «Internal Migrations in Spain, 1877-1930». European Review of Economic History 9 (2), pp. 233-265.

J. Silvestre ; M. I. Ayuda , and V. Pinilla (2015): «The Occupational Attainment of Migrants and Natives in Barcelona, 1930». The Economic History Review 68 (3), pp. 985-1015.

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R. Steckel (2009): «Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions». Explorations in Economic History 46, pp. 1-23.

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Revista de Historia Economica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History
  • ISSN: 0212-6109
  • EISSN: 2041-3335
  • URL: /core/journals/revista-de-historia-economica-journal-of-iberian-and-latin-american-economic-history
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