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Why does height matter for educational attainment? Evidence from German children

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  • Cinnirella, Francesco
  • Piopiunik, Marc
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

Height is positively associated with educational attainment. We investigate the mechanisms behind this relationship using data on German pre-teen students. We show that taller children are more likely to enroll in Gymnasium, the most academic secondary school track, and that primary school teachers provide more favorable school track decisions to taller students. We find that a 1cm increase in height is associated with a 1.6 percentage points increase in the probability of attending Gymnasium. This holds even when controlling for academic achievement and parental background. In addition, we present evidence that height and social skills are positively associated already at age 2–3. We propose the association between height and noncognitive skills as a possible explanation of the height-school premium, even if discrimination cannot be ruled out entirely.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 407-418

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:4:p:407-418

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: Height; Height-school premium; Educational attainment; Social skills;

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Cited by:
  1. Price, Gregory N., 2013. "The allometry of metabolism and stature: Worker fatigue and height in the Tanzanian labor market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 515-521.
  2. Murasko, Jason E., 2013. "Physical growth and cognitive skills in early-life: Evidence from a nationally representative US birth cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 267-277.
  3. Dercon, Stefan & Sánchez, Alan, 2013. "Height in mid childhood and psychosocial competencies in late childhood: Evidence from four developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 426-432.
  4. Hassink, Wolter & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2013. "A Note on Height and Surnames: The Role of Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 7433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bernardi, Martino & Bratti, Massimiliano & De Simone, Gianfranco, 2014. ""I wish I knew ..." - Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education," IZA Discussion Papers 7940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Tao, Hung-Lin, 2014. "Height, weight, and entry earnings of female graduates in Taiwan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 85-98.
  7. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  8. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2012. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller than the Rest," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-494, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

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