Swedish study links height to pay
Published: 08 Mar 2009 11:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2009 11:09 GMT+01:00
The study, soon to be published by Kalmar University, is based on the details of 500,000 Swedish men and indicates that average pay increases in line with average height.
Professor Dan-Olof Rooth at Kalmar University has led the study which compares statistics for the men at 18 years of age and then their levels of pay when they are between 28 and 30-years-old.
The results are conclusive. The taller a person is, the higher their average pay.
"These are not small differences we have noted, on average those who are ten centimetres taller have six percent higher incomes," Dan-Olof Rooth said to the newspaper Östran.
The study also concludes that there are income differences even among siblings of differing height, even if the differences are somewhat smaller.
Rooth points out that the results can not be applied to individuals and that the study concerns average results. Income differences occur at all heights, he underlined.
"The differences are even there between one that is 173 centimetres tall and one that is 175 centimetres, and between one that is 178 centimetres tall and one that is 180 centimetres. The effects are quite consistent," Dan-Olof Rooth said to news agency TT.
Researchers will now look at the reasons why height seems to pay.
"We have found a pattern that taller people earn more money. We now want to study why that is so."
Several theories indicate that it is due to upbringing and cognitive ability (the ability to receive and digest information).
"To a certain extent it can be seen that taller people are sick less during their childhood."
"Say that two people would have grown to 180 centimetres in an ideal world, but due to childhood sickness grew to only 178 centimetres, then it is a sign that the individual in question is less physically developed and can have gained a poorer cognitive ability," Dan-Olof Rooth explained.
"We can see that cognitive ability and physique explain a great deal, but we don't yet know the mechanisms behind why they do so."