Posted by: Doug Henwood | January 19, 2011

Tough, Shorty

Economics proves that tall people deserve more:

Andreas Schick, Richard H. Steckel
NBER Working Paper No. 16570
Issued in December 2010

Taller workers receive a substantial wage premium. Studies extending back to the middle of the last century attribute the premium to non-cognitive abilities, which are associated with stature and rewarded in the labor market. More recent research argues that cognitive abilities explain the stature-wage relationship. This paper reconciles the competing views by recognizing that net nutrition, a major determinant of adult height, is integral to our cognitive and non-cognitive development. Using data from Britain’s National Childhood Development Study (NCDS), we show that taller children have higher average cognitive and non-cognitive test scores, and that each aptitude accounts for a substantial and roughly equal portion of the stature premium. Together these abilities explain why taller people have higher wages.


  1. You mean if Mayor Bloomberg were taller, he’d be even richer? What a pleasant thought.

  2. can you provide more? the link requires a username/password*.

  3. The article is here:

    Over at The Atlantic they point out this article and add another about women-with-children:

    Now you can see why I stopped halfway through my economics master’s program…

  4. Yes, and blondes make 8% more than median. Proving, something.

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