Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes
The well-known association between height and earnings is often thought to reflect factors such as self-esteem, social dominance, and discrimination. We offer a simpler explanation: height is positively associated with cognitive ability, which is rewarded in the labor market. Using data from the United States and the United Kingdom, we show that taller children have higher average cognitive test scores and that these test scores explain a large portion of the height premium in earnings. Children who have higher test scores also experience earlier adolescent growth spurts, so that height in adolescence serves as a marker of cognitive ability. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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- John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998.
"Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
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