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The economic consequences of being left-handed : some sinister results (version 2.0)

Author

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  • Kevin Denny
  • Vincent O'Sullivan

Abstract

This paper provides the first estimates of the effects of handedness on hourly earnings using data on a sample of 33 year olds in the United Kingdom. Augmenting a conventional earnings equation with indicators of left handedness shows there is a well determined positive effect on male earnings with non-manual workers enjoying a slightly larger premium once we allow for non random selection into occupation. This is not consistent with the view that left-handers in general are in some sense handicapped either being innately or through experiencing a world geared towards right-handers. It is consistent with the popular notion of left-handers having particular talents such as enhanced creativity. The results for females however reveal the opposite, left-handed females are paid significantly less. This paper forms part of the Policy Evaluation Program at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC) at UCD.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2004. "The economic consequences of being left-handed : some sinister results (version 2.0)," Working Papers 200422, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200422
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/945
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shah, Manisha & Shields, Michael A., 2008. "Early Child Development and Maternal Labor Force Participation: Using Handedness as an Instrument," IZA Discussion Papers 3537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Paul Gregg & Katharina Janke & Carol Propper, 2008. "Handedness and Child Development," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/198, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Kevin Denny, 2008. "Handedness and depression, evidence from a large population survey," Working Papers 200815, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    4. Joshua Goodman, 2014. "The Wages of Sinistrality: Handedness, Brain Structure, and Human Capital Accumulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 193-212, Fall.
    5. Kevin Denny, 2006. "Cognitive ability and hemispheric indecision : two surpluses and a deficit," Working Papers 200612, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Kevin Denny & Vincent O’ Sullivan, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Being Left-Handed: Some Sinister Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).

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