Investigating the total contribution of body height to the variance decomposition of several outcomes in a multinational setting

33 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2021

See all articles by Felix Bittmann

Felix Bittmann

Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories; Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

Date Written: April 12, 2021

Abstract

The association of body height and various outcomes has been studied in detail. While most studies find positive relationships linking additional height to more positive outcomes like higher life satisfaction or increased wages, the overall contribution of height to the variance decomposition of these outcomes is often neglected. Even when studies report measures of model fit like R², due to the design of the analytical models it is often not possible to isolate the additional contribution of height. The inclusion of other independent variables that are only marginally associated with height further obstructs the contribution of height. Reported values of explained variance, which are often below ten percent in many studies, are thus to be seen as upper bounds and the pure contribution of height must be lower, at least in developed nations. This is a serious knowledge gap and deserves more attention. Using European Social Survey data including 20 countries, our analyses demonstrate that the overall contribution of height to outcomes like life satisfaction, household income, prestige of the position in the labour market and years of education is lower than 0.012 with similar findings for men and women. When cross-national comparisons are inspected, there are only small country differences and just a few countries display marginally larger contributions which reach up to about five percentage points. These findings are relevant when putting the total effects of height into context.

Keywords: Height, income, variance decomposition, satisfaction, multinational comparison

JEL Classification: C21, D31, I31

Suggested Citation

Bittmann, Felix, Investigating the total contribution of body height to the variance decomposition of several outcomes in a multinational setting (April 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3824801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3824801

Felix Bittmann (Contact Author)

Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories ( email )

Wilhelmsplatz 3
Bamberg, 96047
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.lifbi.de/Personen/Profile/account/2967

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
Bamberg, 96045
Germany

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