Does Size Matter in Australia?

13 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2010

See all articles by Michael A. Kortt

Michael A. Kortt

Southern Cross University - School of Business and Tourism

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Abstract

We estimate the relationship between hourly wages and two aspects of body size: height and body mass index (BMI). We observe a height premium, with an additional 10 cm of height being associated with a 3 per cent increase in hourly wages for men. However, workers with higher BMI scores do not seem to earn lower wages. These results are largely unaffected by controlling for physical health, or (in the case of BMI) instrumenting with the BMI of biological family members. A survey of previous instrumental variables studies shows little indication of systematic biases, suggesting that OLS may provide a reasonable estimate of the causal impact of BMI on wages.

Suggested Citation

Kortt, Michael A. and Leigh, Andrew, Does Size Matter in Australia?. Economic Record, Vol. 86, Issue 272, pp. 71-83, March 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1560144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2009.00566.x

Michael A. Kortt (Contact Author)

Southern Cross University - School of Business and Tourism ( email )

Lismore, New South Wales 2480
Australia

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

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