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Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France

AuthorsDuclos, Jean-Yves; Leblanc, Josée; Sahn, David
Health inequality
Aggregate data
19th Century
Issue Date20-Apr-2009
SeriesUFAE and IAE Working Papers ; 771.09
AbstractThis paper develops a methodology to estimate the entire population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data. We do this through the estimation of the parameters of mixtures of distributions that allow for maximal parametric flexibility. The statistical approach we develop enables comparisons of the full distributions of height data from potential army conscripts across France's 88 departments for most of the nineteenth century. These comparisons are made by testing for differences-of-means stochastic dominance. Corrections for possible measurement errors are also devised by taking advantage of the richness of the data sets. Our methodology is of interest to researchers working on historical as well as contemporary bin-aggregated or histogram-type data, something that is still widely done since much of the information that is publicly available is in that form, often due to restrictions due to political sensitivity and/or confidentiality concerns.
Description43 pages, 11 figures, 4 tables.-- JEL Classification Numbers: C14, C81, D3, D63, I1, I3, N3.
Publisher version (URL)http://pareto.uab.es/wp/2009/77109.pdf
Appears in Collections:(IAE) Informes y documentos de trabajo
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