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Making Sense of the Labor Market Height Premium: Evidence From the British Household Panel Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Anne Case
  • Christina Paxson
  • Mahnaz Islam

Abstract

We use nine waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to investigate the large labor market height premium observed in the BHPS, where each inch of height is associated with a 1.5 percent increase in wages, for both men and women. We find that half of the premium can be explained by the association between height and educational attainment among BHPS participants. Of the remaining premium, half can be explained by taller individuals selecting into higher status occupations and industries. These effects are consistent with our earlier findings that taller individuals on average have greater cognitive function, which manifests in greater educational attainment, and better labor market opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Mahnaz Islam, 2008. "Making Sense of the Labor Market Height Premium: Evidence From the British Household Panel Survey," NBER Working Papers 14007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14007
    Note: AG CH LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
    2. Heineck, Guido, 2008. "A note on the height-wage differential in the UK - Cross-sectional evidence from the BHPS," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 288-293, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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