Does tallness pay off in the long run? Height and earnings over the life cycle
2015 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Using data on approximately 30,000 dizygotic and monozygotic twins born in Sweden 1918-58, we analyze how the height premium in earnings develops over the adult lifespan. Overall, the unconditional estimated premium increases with age for men and decreases for women. For men, within twin-pair fixed effects (WTP) estimates are on average about 40 percent lower than the corresponding unconditional OLS estimates. Including years of schooling as an explanatory variable induces a similar reduction (about 40 percent) of the estimated OLS height premium, but has no effect whatsoever on the WTP estimates, implying that the OLS and WTP estimates tend to coincide. Hence, it seems as if schooling mediates the association between height and earnings among unrelated male individuals but not among twins. For women, the estimations are less precise, but limiting the sample to those with earnings above a threshold level mirroring half time earnings at a very low wage level, the estimated OLS and WTP premiums are rather constant with age. This indicates that, for women, the unconditional premiums may well be influenced by height-related variation in labor market participation. Overall, the height premium patterns do not vary substantially between monozygotic and dizygotic twins, indicating that environmentally and genetically induced height differences affect earning levels similarly.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34662OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34662DiVA: diva2:1063778
Population Association of America (PAA) 2015 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 30 - May 2