Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Height differentiated Wage Premium in West Bengal, India: An Empirical Study

Khasnobis, Poulomi and Dinda, Soumyananda (2017): Height differentiated Wage Premium in West Bengal, India: An Empirical Study.

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Recently literature focuses on health status and labour market outcomes highlighting the height premium or height differentiated wage earning in labour market. Body height and weight of a worker, normally, represents his/her health status which is the basis of efficiency of a worker and it determines his/her productivity too. Literature has considered height, weight, age, education and experience, etc. as wage determining factors. Literature suggests that taller earns more than short heighted labour. Now, question arises weather height differentiated wage is true for all jobs or sector specific jobs only. This study attempts to answer these questions. Using primary data of six different job sectors, this paper investigates the relationship between physical health status and wage earning in West Bengal, India. Primary observation shows that taller earns more compared to their counter parts. This paper provides evidence that height differentiates wage income is significant in hard job sectors while education differential wage earning in soft job sectors. Worker’s height is statistically significant and positively affect on wage earning in hard working sector. Here, taller is the gainer in wage income earning and the estimated height premium is around 2% - 4%. However, backward or lower caste workers lose their wage income even in hard job sectors due to physical inefficiency that arises because of malnutrition or insufficient nutritional intake in the childhood.

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