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Does physical capacity explain the height premium?

  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Johansson, Edvard
  • Kiiskinen, Urpo
  • Heliövaara, Markku

The paper examines the role of physical capacity in the determination of the height premium by using the “Health 2000 in Finland” data that contain both self-reported information on the physical strenuousness of work, and information on muscle mass from medical examinations. Our results show that the height premium does not vary according to the physical strenuousness of work. We also find that muscle mass is not related to wages. Furthermore, we observe that the shortest men do physically very demanding work and the tallest do sedentary work, even after controlling for the effects of age and education.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20108.

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Date of creation: 19 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20108
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  1. Ewing, Bradley T., 1998. "Athletes and work," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 113-117, April.
  2. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "The Height Premium in Earnings: The Role of Physical Capacity and Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  5. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
  6. Thomas Cornelißen & Christian Pfeifer, 2007. "The Impact of Participation in Sports on Educational Attainment: New Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 68, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 839-854, July.
  8. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
  9. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roy Wada & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "Body Composition and Wages," NBER Working Papers 13595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Guido Heineck, 2005. "Up in the Skies? The Relationship between Body Height and Earnings in Germany ," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 469-489, 09.
  13. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
  14. John Komlos, . "Height and Social Status in Eighteenth-Century Germany," Articles by John Komlos 27, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  15. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John & Schmeiser, Maximilian D., 2009. "The timing of the rise in U.S. obesity varies with measure of fatness," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 307-318, December.
  16. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2006. "Ugly Criminals," NBER Working Papers 12019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2007. "The Physical Strenuousness of Work is Slightly Associated with an Upward Trend in the Body Mass Index," Working Papers 523, Hanken School of Economics.
  18. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March.
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