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Why Does Height Matter for Educational Attainment? Evidence from German Pre-Teen Children

Author

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  • Francesco Cinnirella

    ()

  • Marc Piopiunik

    ()

  • Joachim Winter

Abstract

Several studies have shown that body height is positively associated with educational attainment. In this paper, we investigate the mechanisms behind this relationship using data on German pre-teen students. We show that (i) taller children are more likely to enroll in ‘Gymnasium’, the most academic secondary school track, and that (ii) primary school teachers give better recommendations to taller students. This holds even when controlling for academic achievement and parental background. In addition, we present some evidence that height and social skills are positively associated already at age 2-3. Our results imply that controlling for social skills would significantly reduce estimates of the height-school premium. With respect to education policy, our findings suggest that early school tracking might increase disadvantages for students with low social skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Cinnirella & Marc Piopiunik & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Why Does Height Matter for Educational Attainment? Evidence from German Pre-Teen Children," CESifo Working Paper Series 2983, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2983
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education and Mediating Channels: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Germany," ifo Working Paper Series 107, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Marc Piopiunik, 2011. "Microeconometric Analyses of Education Production in Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 40.
    3. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "Age at Preschool Entrance and Noncognitive Skills before School - An Instrumental Variable Approach," ifo Working Paper Series 112, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. 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.
    5. Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Educational Production in Preschools and Schools - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 41.
    6. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "The Effect of Preschool Attendance on Secondary School Track Choice in Germany - Evidence from Siblings," ifo Working Paper Series 106, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    height; educational tracking; educational attainment; social skills;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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