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A Note on Height and Surnames: The Role of Networks

  • Hassink, Wolter


    (Utrecht University)

  • van Leeuwen, Bas


    (Utrecht University)

Many studies indicate that human height is determined largely by childhood circumstances, which in turn influences an adult's labor market opportunities. The aim of this note is to test this thesis by examining the correlation between childhood circumstances and labor market outcomes on the one hand, and heights on the other, when networks are included as proxied by surnames. The fact that, after the inclusion of this surname proxy, we find a correlation only between height and labor market outcomes suggests that, while childhood circumstances affect height largely via social status and networks as captured by surnames, the same does not apply for labor market outcomes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7433.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7433
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  1. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  3. Cinnirella, Francesco & Piopiunik, Marc & Winter, Joachim, 2011. "Why does height matter for educational attainment? Evidence from German children," Munich Reprints in Economics 20069, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. María-Dolores, Ramón & Martínez-Carrión, José Miguel, 2011. "The relationship between height and economic development in Spain, 1850-1958," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 30-44, January.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  6. A'Hearn, Brian, 2003. "Anthropometric Evidence on Living Standards in Northern Italy, 1730 1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 351-381, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 494-510, April.
  9. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes," Working Papers 232, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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