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Height and subjective well-being in Italy

  • Carrieri, Vincenzo
  • De Paola, Maria

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 289-298

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:289-298
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