IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The allometry of metabolism and stature: Worker fatigue and height in the Tanzanian labor market

  • Price, Gregory N.

If the positive wage–height correlation is at least partially biological in origin, one plausible pathway is the effect of stature on energy expenditure in individuals. If metabolism scales proportionately with stature, then relative to short individuals, taller individuals can produce more energy for a given work task. This also suggests that end-of-the-workday fatigue, or lack of energy, varies inversely with stature. We test this hypothesis with data from the 2004 Tanzanian Household Worker Survey in which workers report the extent of their fatigue at the end-of-the-workday. Ordinal latent variable parameter estimates reveal that relative to short workers, taller workers are less likely to report being tired at the end-of-the-workday. This suggests that the positive wage–height relationship also has a biological foundation whereby the energy requirements and metabolic costs associated with work effort/tasks are inversely related to stature.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X13000877
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 515-521

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:515-521
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes," Working Papers 232, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  3. Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2007. "Why Europe Works Less and Grows Taller," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 50(1), pages 21-39, February.
  4. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Kortt & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Does Size Matter in Australia?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(272), pages 71-83, 03.
  6. Haddad, Lawrence J & Bouis, Howarth E, 1991. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 45-68, February.
  7. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
  8. Hübler, Olaf, 2009. "The nonlinear link between height and wages in Germany, 1985-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 191-199, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Guido Heineck, 2005. "Up in the Skies? The Relationship between Body Height and Earnings in Germany ," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 469-489, 09.
  11. Cinnirella, Francesco & Piopiunik, Marc & Winter, Joachim, 2011. "Why does height matter for educational attainment? Evidence from German children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 407-418.
  12. Fogel, Robert W, 2004. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 643-58, April.
  13. Lindqvist, Erik, 2010. "Height and Leadership," Working Paper Series 835, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  14. Howard Bodenhorn & Carolyn Moehling & Gregory N. Price, 2010. "Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America," NBER Working Papers 15945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Juliet U. Elu & Gregory N. Price, 2013. "Ethnicity as a Barrier to Childhood and Adolescent Health Capital in Tanzania: Evidence from the Wage-Height Relationship," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(1), pages 1-13, 03.
  16. West, Geoffrey B., 1999. "The origin of universal scaling laws in biology," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 263(1), pages 104-113.
  17. Schultz, T. Paul, 2003. "Human capital, schooling and health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 207-221, June.
  18. Robert Fogel & Dora Costa, 1997. "A theory of technophysio evolution, with some implications for forecasting population, health care costs, and pension costs," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 49-66, February.
  19. T. Paul Schultz, 2004. "Human Capital, Schooling and Health Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm358, Yale School of Management.
  20. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
  21. Joni Hersch, 2008. "Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 345-386, 04.
  22. Peter Glick & David E. Sahn, 1998. "Health and productivity in a heterogeneous urban labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 203-216, February.
  23. Gary Solon & Steven J. Haider & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2013. "What Are We Weighting For?," NBER Working Papers 18859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Terza, Joseph V. & Basu, Anirban & Rathouz, Paul J., 2008. "Two-stage residual inclusion estimation: Addressing endogeneity in health econometric modeling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 531-543, May.
  25. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
  26. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2011. "A physiological foundation for the nutrition-based efficiency wage model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 232-253, April.
  27. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2010. "The relationship between physical work and the height premium: Finnish evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 414-420, December.
  28. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 349-353, May.
  29. Heineck, Guido, 2009. "Too tall to be smart? The relationship between height and cognitive abilities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 78-80, October.
  30. Richard Deitz & James Orr, 2006. "A leaner, more skilled U.S. manufacturing workforce," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 12(Feb/Mar).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:515-521. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.