The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height

71 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2004

See all articles by Nicola G. Persico

Nicola G. Persico

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Andrew Postlewaite

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Dan Silverman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Economics Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 3, 2003

Abstract

Taller workers receive a wage premium, and the disparity in wages is similar in magnitude to the race and gender gaps. We exploit the variation in an individual's height over time to explore the ways in which height affects wages. Specifically, we show that for white males the effect of adult height is essentially eliminated when adolescent height is taken into account. We find that participation in high school sports and clubs, and to a lesser extent schooling, are channels through which teen height affects adult wages. The benefits of being a taller teen seem to accrue equally across income classes and also across broad occupation categories, suggesting that the benefits of teen height do not result from occupational sorting. Because height is heritable and because tall adults tend to have children with each other, the benefits of teen height tend to be perpetuated across generations. Finally, we use our estimates of the teen height premium to perform a simple calculation of the monetary benefits of a newly approved treatment for children that increases height.

Note: A previous version of this abstract can be found at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=293122

Keywords: Confidence, Optimism, Behavioral Economics

JEL Classification: D81, D83

Suggested Citation

Persico, Nicola G. and Postlewaite, Andrew and Silverman, Dan, The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height (December 3, 2003). PIER Working Paper No. 03-036, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=480645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.480645

Nicola G. Persico

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

Andrew Postlewaite (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7350 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upenn.edu/~apostlew

Dan Silverman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Economics Department ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-764-2447 (Phone)
734-764-2769 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.lsa.umich.edu/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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