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Height, Skills, and Labor Market Outcomes in Mexico

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  • Tom Vogl
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    Abstract

    Taller workers are paid higher wages. A prominent explanation for this pattern is that physical growth and cognitive development share childhood inputs, inducing a correlation between adult height and two productive skills: strength and intelligence. This paper explores the relative roles of strength and intelligence in explaining the labor market height premium in Mexico. While cognitive test scores account for a limited share of the height premium, roughly half of the premium can be attributed to the educational and occupational choices of taller workers. Taller workers obtain more education and sort into occupations with greater intelligence requirements and lower strength requirements, suggesting that the height premium partly reflects a return to cognitive skill.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18318.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18318

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    1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 86-121, April.
    3. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2012. "Economic Growth, Comparative Advantage, and Gender Differences in Schooling Outcomes: Evidence from the Birthweight Differences of Chinese Twins," Working Papers id:4779, eSocialSciences.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    5. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 232, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2005. "Cognitive Development Among Young Children in Ecuador: The Roles of Wealth, Health and Parenting," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 239, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    7. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
    9. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Böckerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2013. "Stature and Life-Time Labor Market Outcomes: Accounting for Unobserved Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 7424, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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