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Health Human Capital, Height and Wages in China

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  • Wenshu Gao
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

We estimate the returns to height using data from 12 Chinese cities. We present both ordinary least squares (OLS) and two-stage least squares (TSLS) estimates. In the latter height is instrumented using proxies for health human capital accumulated in childhood and adolescence, which influence adult height. The OLS estimates suggest that an additional centimetre of adult height is associated with wages being 1.1 percent higher for males and 0.9 per cent higher for females. The TSLS estimates suggest each additional centimetre of adult height is associated with wages being 4.8 per cent higher for males and 10.8 per cent for females. The difference reflects the fact that the OLS estimates are predominantly determined by the random genetic factors influencing height, while the TSLS estimates also take into account returns from investment in health human capital during childhood and adolescence. These results imply considerable returns to investment in health human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Health Human Capital, Height and Wages in China," Monash Economics Working Papers 05-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2009-05
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    Cited by:

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    2. Dong, Xinwei, 2020. "Effect of birth interval on the first child’s nutrition status: Evidence from China," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    3. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Height and cognition at work: Labor market productivity in a low income setting," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 52-64.
    4. Yamamura, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2017. "Comparing the role of the height of men and women in the marriage market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 42-50.
    5. Juliet Elu & Gregory Price, 2013. "Does Ethnicity Matter for Access to Childhoodand Adolescent Health Capital in China? Evidence from the Wage-Height Relationship in the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 315-339, September.
    6. Morgan Kelly & Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2014. "Precocious Albion: A New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 363-389, August.
    7. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2016. "Comparing the role of height between men and women in the marriage market," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-20, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    8. M Niaz Asadullah & Saizi Xiao, 2019. "Labor Market Returns to Education and English Language Skills in the People's Republic of China: An Update," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 36(1), pages 80-111, March.
    9. Peng, Langchuan & Wang, Xi & Ying, Shanshan, 2020. "The heterogeneity of beauty premium in China: Evidence from CFPS," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 386-396.
    10. Mark E. McGovern & Aditi Krishna & Victor M. Aguayo & S.V. Subramanian, 2017. "A Review of the Evidence Linking Child Stunting to Economic Outcomes," CHaRMS Working Papers 17-03, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    11. Yamamura, Eiji & Smyth, Russell & Zhang, Yan, 2015. "Decomposing the effect of height on income in China: The role of market and political channels," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 62-74.
    12. Juliet Elu & Gregory Price, 2013. "Ethnicity as a Barrier to Childhood and Adolescent Health Capital in Tanzania: Evidence from the Wage-Height Relationship," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(1), pages 1-13.
    13. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2017. "Gap of height and education within couple and its effect on conflict and evaluation about partners: psychological cost of division of labor within household," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-35, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    14. Raufhon Salahodjaev & Nargiza Ibragimova, 2020. "Height and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Russia," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 219-237, March.
    15. Panczak, Radoslaw & Moser, André & Held, Leonhard & Jones, Philip A. & Rühli, Frank J. & Staub, Kaspar, 2017. "A tall order: Small area mapping and modelling of adult height among Swiss male conscripts," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 61-69.
    16. Yuxi Xiao & Haizheng Li & Belton M. Fleisher, 2015. "The earnings effects of health and health-related activities: a panel data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(14), pages 1407-1423, March.
    17. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China, 2001-2010: Evidence from Three Waves of the China Urban Labor Survey," Monash Economics Working Papers 50-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    18. Yang, Xiao & Gao, Jian & Liu, Jin-Hu & Zhou, Tao, 2018. "Height conditions salary expectations: Evidence from large-scale data in China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 501(C), pages 86-97.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; health; height; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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