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A Bioeconomic Foundation for the Nutrition-based Efficiency Wage Model

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  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan
  • Strulik, Holger

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 such regularity may disappear in the process of development.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2008. "A Bioeconomic Foundation for the Nutrition-based Efficiency Wage Model," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-396, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-396
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    File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-396.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2007. "A Bioeconomic Foundation of the Malthusian Equilibrium: Body Size and Population Size in the Long-Run," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-373, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Deolalikar, Anil B, 1988. "Nutrition and Labor Productivity in Agriculture: Estimates for Rural South India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 406-413, August.
    3. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 349-353, May.
    4. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    5. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
    6. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
    7. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
    8. Bose, Gautam, 1997. "Nutritional efficiency wages: a policy framework," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 469-478, December.
    9. Swamy, Anand V., 1997. "A simple test of the nutrition-based efficiency wage model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 85-98, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The advantage of being tall
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-11-10 16:11:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency Wages; Nutrition; Metabolism; Allometric Scaling; Body Size;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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