Wednesday, September 16, 2009
From the Archive: Why Height Matters
Well, it turns out one's current height doesn't appear to generate these returns. Economists Nicola Persico, Andy Postlewaite, and Dan Silverman show that it is not height today that generates higher incomes, but rather height at age 16. Boys who were tall at 16 earn more money, but boys who were short at 16 but tall at 33 don't. This suggests that height itself does not matter. Rather, adolescent experiences differ for those who are tall and these different experiences generate self-esteem, confidence, or some set of skills that are valuable in the labor market.
Steven Landsburg provides a one page summary of the paper here.
Is evolutionary biology relevant in the sense that it would deem taller men more reproductively attractive, making them more confident and therefore more self confident?
Also, if athletes are encompassed in this theory then the findings would make sense. Pro athletes get paid lillions of dollars and are generally taller. That could throw off ratios pretty quickly.
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