Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107821
Authors: 
Rietveld, Cornelius A.
Hessels, Jolanda
van der Zwan, Peter
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 14-109/VII
Abstract: 
This discussion paper resulted in a publication in 'Economics and Human Biology' (forthcoming).<P> Taller individuals typically have occupations with higher social status and higher earnings than shorter individuals. Further, entrepreneurship is associated with high social status in numerous countries; hence, entrepreneurs might be taller than wage workers. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (2002-2010), we find that a 1 cm increase in an individual’s height raises the probability of being self-employed (the most common proxy for entrepreneurship) versus paid employed by 0.16 percentage-points. Within self-employment the probability of being an employer is increased by 0.11 percentage-points as a result of a 1 cm increase in height whereas this increase is 0.05 percentage-points for an own-account worker. Furthermore, we confirm that a height premium in earnings exists for not only paid employees, as indicated by prior studies, but also for self-employed individuals. An additional 1 cm in height is associated with a 0.44% increase in hourly earnings for paid employees, and a 0.87% increase for self-employed individuals. The predicted earnings differences between short and tall individuals are substantial. Short paid employees—first quartile of height—earn 15.5 Euros per hour whereas tall paid employees—third quartile of height—earn 16.5 Euros per hour; in self-employment the earnings are 12.8 and 14.4 Euros per hour, respectively. Another novel finding is that we establish the existence of a height premium for work and life satisfaction, but only for paid employees. Finally, our analysis reveals that 44% of the height premium in earnings is explained by differences in educational attainment whereas the height premium in work and life satisfaction is only marginally explained by education.
Subjects: 
Self-employment
Stature
Height premium
Education
Life satisfaction
JEL: 
J24
J31
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
216.43 kB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.