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A physiological foundation for the nutrition-based efficiency wage model

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  • Carl-Johan Dalgaard
  • Holger Strulik

Abstract

Drawing on recent research on allometric scaling and energy consumption, the present paper develops a nutrition-based efficiency wage model from first principles. The biologically micro-founded model allows us to address empirical criticism of the original nutrition-based efficiency wage model. By extending the model with respect to heterogeneity in worker body size and a physiologically founded impact of body size on productivity, we demonstrate that the nutrition-based efficiency wage model is compatible with the empirical regularity that taller workers simultaneously earn higher wages and are less likely to be unemployed in less developed economies. The theory also provides an answer to the question of why the height-unemployment association may disappear in the process of development. Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press 2010 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:63:y:2011:i:2:p:232-253
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    1. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2015. "The physiological foundations of the wealth of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 37-73, March.
    2. Prettner, Klaus & Bloom, David E. & Strulik, Holger, 2013. "Declining fertility and economic well-being: Do education and health ride to the rescue?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 70-79.
    3. 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.
    4. Marco Guerrazzi, 2020. "Efficiency-Wage Competition: What Happens as the Number of Players Increases?," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 13-35, March.
    5. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2014. "Natural disasters and macroeconomic performance: The role of residential investment," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 194 [rev.], University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. Kaushal, Kaushalendra Kumar, 2014. "Pathway from nutrition intake to wage among elementary workers in India," MPRA Paper 56652, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Holger Strulik & Timo Trimborn, 2019. "Natural Disasters and Macroeconomic Performance," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(4), pages 1069-1098, April.
    8. Juliet Elu & Gregory 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.

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