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Are the effects of height on well-being a tall tale?

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Listed:
  • Kevin Denny

    (School of Economics and Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)

Abstract

Numerous papers have documented a positive association between height and good physical health and also with good economic outcomes such as earnings. A smaller number have argued for an association with well-being. In this paper, cross-country data from Europe is used to analyse whether individuals’ height is associated with higher or lower levels of life-satisfaction. In simple models there is a positive but concave relationship between height and life satisfaction. However it is shown that the results are quite sensitive to the inclusion of controls reflecting demographics, human capital and health status. Where effects do exist, it is predominantly at low to medium levels of height. There is also evidence of heterogeneity across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Denny, 2015. "Are the effects of height on well-being a tall tale?," Working Papers 201522, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201522
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201522.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Batty, G. David & Shipley, Martin J. & Gunnell, David & Huxley, Rachel & Kivimaki, Mika & Woodward, Mark & Lee, Crystal Man Ying & Smith, George Davey, 2009. "Height, wealth, and health: An overview with new data from three longitudinal studies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 137-152, July.
    2. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J. & Argys, Laura M., 2009. "A head above the rest: Height and adolescent psychological well-being," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 217-228, July.
    3. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
    4. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schwandt, Hannes, 2015. "Do People Seek to Maximize Their Subjective Well?Being?," IZA Discussion Papers 9450, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
    6. Angus Deaton, 2012. "The financial crisis and the well-being of Americans," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-26, January.
    7. Dimitrios Christelis, 2011. "Imputation of Missing Data in Waves 1 and 2 of SHARE," CSEF Working Papers 278, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    8. 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.
    9. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
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    11. 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.
    12. 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 15 Mar 2004.
    13. Hübler, Olaf, 2009. "The nonlinear link between height and wages in Germany, 1985-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 191-199, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2017. "Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(6), pages 873-890, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    height; stature; well-being; life satisfaction; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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