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Height and subjective well-being in Italy

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  • Carrieri, Vincenzo
  • De Paola, Maria

Abstract

Using an Italian survey, we investigate the effect of height on individual happiness. We find 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 men the effect of height on happiness persists even after controlling for these variables, implying that height is associated with some psycho-social direct effects on well-being. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that men care not only about their own height but also about the height of others in their reference group. Well-being is greater for individuals who are taller than other men in their reference group. Results are robust to different definitions of reference group and controlling for a number of other reference group characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:289-298 DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.12.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The value of male height in the marriage market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 110-124.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2014. "Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1429, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 07 Jul 2014.
    3. repec:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2292-2323 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1143-y is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kitae Sohn, 2016. "Height and Happiness in a Developing Country," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-23, February.
    6. Zotti, Roberto & Speziale, Nino & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "On the causal effect of religion on life satisfaction using a propensity score matching technique," MPRA Paper 60066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9785-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The height premium in Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 1-15.
    9. Kevin Denny, 2017. "Are the Effects of Height on Well-Being a Tall Tale?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 1445-1458, October.
    10. Wang-Sheng Lee & Zhong Zhao, 2017. "Height, Weight and Well-Being for Rural, Urban and Migrant Workers in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 117-136, May.
    11. Lars Thiel, 2014. "Illness and Health Satisfaction: The Role of Relative Comparisons," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 695, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2016. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2292-2323, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Height; Social comparison; Subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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