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The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Carrieri

    ()

  • Maria De Paola

    () (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

Using a rich Italian survey, we investigate the effect of height on individual happiness. From our analysis it emerges that a large part of the effect of height on well-being is driven by a positive correlation between height and economic and health conditions. However, for young males the effect of height on happiness persists even after controlling for these variables, implying that height may produce some psycho-social direct effects on well-being. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that males care not only about their own height but also about the height of people in their reference group. Well-being is greater for individuals who are taller than other subjects in their reference group. Results are robust to different definitions of reference group and controlling for a number of other reference group characteristics. We speculate that the beneficial effect of height on young males' well-being may be related to the fact that in some countries, such as Italy, and especially for men, height is considered as a proxy for handsomeness.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Carrieri & Maria De Paola, 2011. "The Effects Of Peoples’ Height And Relative Height On Well-Being," Working Papers 201110, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201110
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP10_2011.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    height; social comparison; subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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