Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More on height and wages

 A colleague from McGill University pointed out that height being a proxy for health is a tricky business and offered the following reference in support:

The above-mentioned paper argued the following:

"The authors suggest that the differences in longevity between the sexes is due to their height differences because men average about 8.0% taller than women and have a 7.9% lower life expectancy at birth. Animal experiments also show that smaller animals within the same species generally live longer."

I am not fully convinced that women live longer because they are shorter. I believe it is women's role as primary caregivers in all societies that has made them more aware of their wellbeing and health. I think women in North America, even when they are not ill, visit doctors more often than men. I also believe that women use more medication than men. This extra care must pay off over the long run.

Men on the other hand are busy with putting "veggies" (bacon is not an option for me) on the table and that stress stretched over 40 years chips away on longevity. Now that the workforce is going to be more female based than men, I'd like to see if women would continue outliving men.

Also, what if the taller individuals may have shorter life spans, but they are healthier for the time they live and therefore earn more. And what about a comparison among men only!

Anecdotally, I have also noticed that in South Asia rich parents, irrespective of their own height, have often raised taller children and vice versa.

No comments:

Post a Comment