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The nonlinear link between height and wages in Germany, 1985-2004

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  • Hübler, Olaf

Abstract

Based on data of the German Socio-Economic Panel, this article investigates the relationship between height and wages by gender. Unlike previous investigations, which have been limited to an examination of linear effects, this one finds that height influences on wages are curvilinear, and more so for men than for women. More specifically, it finds that women who are shorter than average and men who are somewhat taller than average, but not among the tallest, enjoy significant wage advantages. Furthermore, using Blinder's decomposition to determine two components of wage differences, we find that these differences can be partitioned into an endowment component and unexplained influences (discrimination). There is a difference between the public and private sectors and between men and women as to the degree of the latter effect. This investigation supports the hypothesis that short and very tall men employed in the private sector are disadvantaged the most. The outcome for women is less robust than for men.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:191-199
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    Cited by:

    1. Yamamura, Eiji & Smyth, Russell & Zhang, Yan, 2015. "Decomposing the effect of height on income in China: The role of market and political channels," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 62-74.
    2. Price, Gregory N., 2013. "The allometry of metabolism and stature: Worker fatigue and height in the Tanzanian labor market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 515-521.
    3. Andreas Schick & Richard H. Steckel, 2015. "Height, Human Capital, and Earnings: The Contributions of Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 94-115.
    4. Rietveld, Cornelius A. & Hessels, Jolanda & van der Zwan, Peter, 2015. "The stature of the self-employed and its relation with earnings and satisfaction," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 59-74.
    5. Cornelius A. Rietveld & Jolanda Hessels & Peter van der Zwan, 2014. "The Stature of the Self-employed and its Premium," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-109/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9785-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Böckerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2013. "Stature and life-time labor market outcomes: Accounting for unobserved differences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 86-96.
    8. Tao, Hung-Lin, 2014. "Height, weight, and entry earnings of female graduates in Taiwan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 85-98.
    9. Howard Bodenhorn & Carolyn Moehling & Gregory N. Price, 2012. "Short Criminals: Stature and Crime in Early America," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 393-419.
    10. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:13-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2014. "Big and Tall: Is there a Height Premium or Obesity Penalty in the Labor Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 8606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
    13. 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.
    14. Manfredini, Matteo & Breschi, Marco & Fornasin, Alessio & Seghieri, Chiara, 2013. "Height, socioeconomic status and marriage in Italy around 1900," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 465-473.

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