Child height, health and human capital: Evidence using genetic markers

Stephanie Von Hinke Kessler Scholder, George Davey Smith, Debbie A. Lawlor, Carol Propper, Frank Windmeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Height has long been recognized as being associated with better outcomes: the question is whether this association is causal. We use children's genetic variants as instrumental variables to deal with possible unobserved confounders and examine the effect of child/adolescent height on a wide range of outcomes: academic performance, IQ, self-esteem, depression symptoms and behavioral problems. OLS findings show that taller children have higher IQ, perform better in school, and are less likely to have behavioral problems. The IV results differ: taller girls (but not boys) have better cognitive performance and, in contrast to the OLS, greater height appears to increase behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child height
  • Genetic variants
  • Human capital
  • Instrumental variables
  • Mendelian randomization

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