The Effect of Height on Earnings: Is Stature a Proxy for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills?

Laurent L. Y. Bossavie, World Bank Group
Harold Alderman, World Bank Group
John T. Giles, World Bank Group
Cem Mete, World Bank Group

This study investigates the degree to which association of height on earnings in Pakistan is independent of other cognitive and socio-emotional skills. We find that there is only modest attenuation of the coefficient of height when a measure of cognitive ability – performance on Raven’s matrices – is included. Additionally we include an index of socio-emotional capacity based on principal components of the big five indicators and, again, find that the association of height and earnings remains similar to its magnitude when nutritional status is included alone.

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Presented in Session 24: Labor Markets, Population, and Development