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Child height, health and human capital: evidence using genetic markers

  • von Hinke Kessler Scholder, S
  • Davey Smith, G
  • Lawlor, DA
  • Propper, C
  • Windmeijer, F

Height has long been recognized as being associated with better outcomes: the question is whether this association is causal. We use children's genetic variants as instrumental variables to deal with possible unobserved confounders and examine the effect of child/adolescent height on a wide range of outcomes: academic performance, IQ, self-esteem, depression symptoms and behavioral problems. OLS findings show that taller children have higher IQ, perform better in school, and are less likely to have behavioral problems. The IV results differ: taller girls (but not boys) have better cognitive performance and, in contrast to the OLS, greater height appears to increase behavioral problems.

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Paper provided by Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School in its series Working Papers with number 5947.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:imp:wpaper:5947
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