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Height, Skills, and Labor Market Outcomes in Mexico

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  • Tom Vogl

Abstract

Taller workers are paid higher wages. A prominent explanation for this pattern is that physical growth and cognitive development share childhood inputs, inducing a correlation between adult height and two productive skills: strength and intelligence. This paper explores the relative roles of strength and intelligence in explaining the labor market height premium in Mexico. While cognitive test scores account for a limited share of the height premium, roughly half of the premium can be attributed to the educational and occupational choices of taller workers. Taller workers obtain more education and sort into occupations with greater intelligence requirements and lower strength requirements, suggesting that the height premium partly reflects a return to cognitive skill.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Vogl, 2012. "Height, Skills, and Labor Market Outcomes in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 18318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18318
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18318.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Böckerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2013. "Stature and life-time labor market outcomes: Accounting for unobserved differences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 86-96.
    3. repec:esx:essedp:745 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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