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The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being

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  • Vincenzo Carrieri

    ()

  • Maria De Paola

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

Using a rich Italian survey, we investigate the effect of height on individual happiness. From our analysis it emerges that a large part of the effect of height on well-being is driven by a positive correlation between height and economic and health conditions. However, for young males the effect of height on happiness persists even after controlling for these variables, implying that height may produce some psycho-social direct effects on well-being. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that males care not only about their own height but also about the height of people in their reference group. Well-being is greater for individuals who are taller than other subjects in their reference group. Results are robust to different definitions of reference group and controlling for a number of other reference group characteristics. We speculate that the beneficial effect of height on young males' well-being may be related to the fact that in some countries, such as Italy, and especially for men, height is considered as a proxy for handsomeness.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP10_2011.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011-10
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201110.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201110

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Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/
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Keywords: height; social comparison; subjective well-being;

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References

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  1. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
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  3. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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