IZA DP No. 7433: A Note on Height and Surnames: The Role of Networks
Many studies indicate that human height is determined largely by childhood circumstances, which in turn influences an adult's labor market opportunities. The aim of this note is to test this thesis by examining the correlation between childhood circumstances and labor market outcomes on the one hand, and heights on the other, when networks are included as proxied by surnames. The fact that, after the inclusion of this surname proxy, we find a correlation only between height and labor market outcomes suggests that, while childhood circumstances affect height largely via social status and networks as captured by surnames, the same does not apply for labor market outcomes.