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The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results

  • Kevin Denny

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College Dublin)

  • Vincent O'Sullivan

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

This paper provides the first estimates of the effects of handedness on hourly earnings. Augmenting a conventional earnings equation with an indicator of left handedness shows there is a well determined positive effect on male earnings with non-manual workers enjoying a slightly larger premium. These results are inconsistent with the view that left-handers in general are in some sense handicapped either innately or through experiencing a world geared towards right-handers. The results for females however reveal the opposite, left-handed females are paid significantly less. This is consistent with some psychological evidence which suggests that left-hander males have particular talents such as enhanced creativity and some evidence on brain morphology which also suggests advantages for left-handed males.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0607.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/07.

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Length: 35 pp.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/07
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  1. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male-Female Earnings," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-087/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 Aug 2005.
  2. Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2006. "The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results," IFS Working Papers W06/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
  4. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
  5. Hungerford, Thomas & Solon, Gary, 1987. "Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 175-77, February.
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  7. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  8. Robert Buchele, 1983. "Economic Achievement and the Power of Positive Thinking," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 441-449.
  9. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  11. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  12. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
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