The Nonlinear Link between Height and Wages: An Empirical Investigation
24 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2006
Date Written: October 2006
This article investigates the relationship between individual wages and height using the German Socio-Economic Panel where five hypotheses are tested. Some explanations of a positive link exist and empirical studies confirm this hypothesis. In contrast to previous investigations which are only based on a linear effect this paper finds that the individual height effects on wages are curvilinear. During the considered period from 1985 to 2004 we observe a slightly nonlinear falling trend. After controlling for time effects a nonlinear relationship between individual height and wages remains with a maximum below the average height for females and above the average for males. We detect endowment and discrimination influences. The latter are firstly due to employer discrimination and secondarily less likely due to customer discrimination.
Keywords: height, wages, nonlinear, cyclical effects, discrimination
JEL Classification: J15, J31
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