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Health and wages: Panel evidence on men and women using IV Quantile Regression

By Abbi Mamo Kedir


Using panel data from a developing country on individuals aged 16 to 59 who reported their monthly wages, we estimated a relationship between health (nutrition) measures (i.e. height and BMI) and wages (which proxies productivity/growth). We controlled for endogeneity of BMI and found heterogeneous returns to different human capital indicators. Our findings indicate that productivity is positively and significantly affected by education, height and BMI. The return to BMI is important both at the lower and upper end of the wage distribution for men while women at the upper end of the distribution suffer a wage penalty due to BMI. Height has been a significant factor affecting men’s productivity but not women. The results in general support the high-nutrition and high-productivity equilibrium story. Returns to schooling showed a declining trend as we move from lower to higher quantiles for both sub-samples. This might suggest that schooling is more beneficial for the less able. In addition, the returns to schooling of women are higher than men. The results have important implications for policy making in the form of nutrition interventions and targeted education on women

Topics: height, BMI, schooling, heterogeneity, endogeneity, quantile, IV
Publisher: Dept. of Economics, University of Leicester
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7579

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