Stature, Obesity, and Portfolio Choice
61 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2009 Last revised: 17 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 15, 2015
Using multiple U.S. and European data sources, we show that observed physical attributes are related to participation in financial markets. Specifically, we find that individuals who are relatively tall and of normal weight are more likely to hold stocks in their financial portfolios. We consider several potential mechanisms that could drive the relation between physical attributes and portfolio decisions. We find that teenage social experiences as well as genetic and prenatal endowments that are fixed at birth are the two channels through which height affects financial decisions. Further, we find that the relation between body mass index and portfolio decisions is largely driven by education and race.
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