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Making Sense of the Labor Market Height Premium: Evidence From the British Household Panel Survey

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  • Anne Case
  • Christina Paxson
  • Mahnaz Islam

Abstract

We use nine waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to investigate the large labor market height premium observed in the BHPS, where each inch of height is associated with a 1.5 percent increase in wages, for both men and women. We find that half of the premium can be explained by the association between height and educational attainment among BHPS participants. Of the remaining premium, half can be explained by taller individuals selecting into higher status occupations and industries. These effects are consistent with our earlier findings that taller individuals on average have greater cognitive function, which manifests in greater educational attainment, and better labor market opportunities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14007.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14007

Note: AG CH LS
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  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes," Working Papers 27, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Heineck, Guido, 2008. "A note on the height-wage differential in the UK - Cross-sectional evidence from the BHPS," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 288-293, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Cinnirella & Marc Piopiunik & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Why Does Height Matter for Educational Attainment? Evidence from German Pre-Teen Children," CESifo Working Paper Series 2983, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Berri, David J. & Simmons, Rob & Van Gilder, Jennifer & O'Neill, Lisle, 2011. "What does it mean to find the face of the franchise? Physical attractiveness and the evaluation of athletic performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 200-202, June.
  4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2011. "The Long Reach of Childhood Health and Circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II Study," Working Papers 1286, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Wei Huang & Xiaoyan Lei & Geert Ridder & John Strauss & Yaohui Zhao, 2013. "Health, Height, Height Shrinkage, and SES at Older Ages: Evidence from China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 86-121, April.
  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. repec:lan:wpaper:3945 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Francesco Cinnirella & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Size Matters! Body Height and Labor Market Discrimination: A Cross-European Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2733, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. repec:lan:wpaper:3554 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Health Human Capital, Height and Wages in China," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 05-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  11. D J Berri & R Simmons & J Van Gilder & L O'Neill, 2010. "What does it mean to find the Face of the Franchise? Physical Attractiveness and the Evaluation of Athletic Performance," Working Papers 611506, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

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