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Height, skills, and labor market outcomes in Mexico

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  • Vogl, Tom S.

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 among Mexican men. 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 a possible role for cognitive skill.

Suggested Citation

  • Vogl, Tom S., 2014. "Height, skills, and labor market outcomes in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 84-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:84-96
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.11.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2017. "Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(6), pages 873-890, June.
    2. repec:aea:aejmac:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:184-224 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:115:y:2019:i:c:p:30-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Levasseur, Pierre, 2017. "The ambiguous causal relationship between body-mass and labour income in emerging economies: The case of Mexico," MPRA Paper 81933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dora L. Costa, 2015. "Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 503-570, September.
    6. McGovern, Mark E., 2014. "Comparing the relationship between stature and later life health in six low and middle income countries," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 128-148.
    7. Vyas, Sangita & Kov, Phyrum & Smets, Susanna & Spears, Dean, 2016. "Disease externalities and net nutrition: Evidence from changes in sanitation and child height in Cambodia, 2005–2010," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 235-245.
    8. Lara Cockx, 2019. "Moving Towards a Better Future? Migration and Children's Health and Education," LICOS Discussion Papers 41119, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    9. Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2017. "Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for US States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 184-224, October.
    10. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The height premium in Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 1-15.
    11. Chih Ming Tan & Dhanushka Thamarapani, 2015. "The Impact of Sustained Attention on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Ghana," Working Paper series 15-32, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    12. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:25:y:2017:i:c:p:52-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kaila, Heidi & Sahn, David E. & Sunder, Naveen, 2018. "Early Life Determinants of Cognitive Ability: A Comparative Study on Madagascar and Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 11550, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Lawson, Nicholas & Spears, Dean, 2016. "What doesn't kill you makes you poorer: Adult wages and early-life mortality in India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-16.
    15. Böckerman, Petri & Viinikainen, Jutta & Vainiomäki, Jari & Hintsanen, Mirka & Pitkänen, Niina & Lehtimäki, Terho & Pehkonen, Jaakko & Rovio, Suvi & Raitakari, Olli, 2017. "Stature and long-term labor market outcomes: Evidence using Mendelian randomization," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 18-29.
    16. Hammer, Jeffrey & Spears, Dean, 2016. "Village sanitation and child health: Effects and external validity in a randomized field experiment in rural India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 135-148.
    17. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Height and cognition at work: Labor market productivity in a low income setting," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 52-64.
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    19. Wilman Javier Iglesias Pinedo & Bladimir Carrillo Bermudez, 2016. "Month Of Birth And Socioeconomic Outcomes Of Adults: Evidence From Brazil," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 196, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    20. Faiz Ur Rehman & Muhammad Nasir, 2018. "In the Same Boat, but not Equals: The Heterogeneous Effects of Indirect Taxation on Child Health in Punjab-Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2018:158, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    21. Niken Kusumawardhani & Daniel Suryadarma & Luca Tiberti & Veto Tyas, 2019. "What Skills Lead to Entrepreneurial Success? Evidence from Non-Farm-Household Enterprises in Indonesia," Working Papers PMMA 2019-14, PEP-PMMA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; Development; Height; Labor productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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