Taller men earn more, Australian researchers say

Sun May 17, 2009 7:55am EDT
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Being tall can make a real difference to a man's pocket, Australian researchers said on Sunday, with five centimeters of extra height worth around A$950 (US$712) in additional annual earnings.

Australian National University economists carried out a survey of Australian adults' earnings and while they found that being overweight made no difference, height did -- at least where males were concerned.

The average man in the sample was five foot ten inches tall, but data showed that if he was six feet tall he could expect to earn 1.5 percent more.

The researchers said this worked out at A$950 a year in extra earnings on average.

"Using data from a nationally representative sample of Australian adults, we found that taller people earn more, with the effect being strongest for men," economist Andrew Leigh said in a statement announcing the findings.

"This result holds constant across a number of other factors that also affect wages, such as age, race, family background, experience, and education. However, we found that the effect of height on women's wages was smaller than for men, and not statistically significant."

An additional five centimeters of height was approximately equivalent to a year's extra experience in terms of a man's additional wages, the researchers said.