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Are Tall People Less Risk Averse than Others?

  • Hübler, Olaf


    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

This paper examines the question of whether risk aversion of prime-age workers is negatively correlated with human height to a statistically significant degree. A variety of estimation methods, tests and specifications yield robust results that permit one to answer this question in the affirmative. Hausman-Taylor panel estimates, however, reveal that height effects disappear if personality traits and skills, parents' behaviour, and interactions between environment and individual abilities appear simultaneously. Height is a good proxy for these influences if they are not observable. Not only one factor but a combination of several traits and interaction effects can describe the time-invariant individual effect in a panel model of risk attitude.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6441.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Applied Social Science Studies, 2013, 133 (1), 23-42
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6441
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  1. Heineck, Guido, 2009. "Too tall to be smart? The relationship between height and cognitive abilities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 78-80, October.
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  7. Stephan Bartke & Reimund Schwarze, 2008. "Risk-Averse by Nation or by Religion?: Some Insights on the Determinants of Individual Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 131, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  15. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2007. "Individual and Job-Based Determinants of Performance Appraisal: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Smith Trenton G. & Stoddard Christiana & Barnes Michael G, 2009. "Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-31, June.
  17. Kuhn, Peter J. & Weinberger, Catherine, 2002. "Leadership Skills and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  19. Hopfensitz, Astrid & Wranik, Tanja, 2008. "Psychological and environmental determinants of myopic loss aversion," MPRA Paper 9305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Sandewall, Örjan & Wallace, Björn, 2008. "Is Financial Risk-Taking Behavior Genetically Transmitted?," Working Paper Series 765, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  21. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Ramos, Xavi, 2010. "Inequality Aversion and Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 4703, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Andreas Schick & Richard H. Steckel, 2010. "Height as a Proxy for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Ability," NBER Working Papers 16570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2001. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Jan 2004.
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