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Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia

Abstract : We investigate the effect of height on earnings, occupational choices and a subjective measure of wellbeing among Indonesian men. We explore the extent to which height captures the effects of endowments set before entry in the labour market. Physical and cognitive skills, co-determined with stature early in life, do not explain much of the height earnings premium directly. Yet, human capital more broadly, including cognition, educational attainment and other factors related to childhood conditions, explains around half of the height premium and does so through occupational sorting. Indeed, taller workers tend to have more education, and educated workers tend to work in more lucrative occupations that require brain and social skills, not brawn. The unexplained share of the height earnings premium may reflect a specific role of stature on social interaction, labour market advantages or self-assurance. We also find a height premium in happiness, half of which simply accounts for the educational and earnings advantages of taller workers.
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Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 11:59:04 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:17:35 AM

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Olivier Bargain, Jinan Zeidan. Stature, Skills and Adult Life Outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia. The Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017, 53 (6), pp.873--890. ⟨10.1080/00220388.2016.1208173⟩. ⟨hal-01589995⟩

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