Coase Colored Glasses

Friday, December 02, 2005

Coase Colored Glasses

So being short as a teenager reduces your adult earning power. But I could give my kids growth hormones. But, if everyone does that then tmean height increases, meaning my kid will need more growth hormone. Life is truly unfair. Here is the info:

Lead researcher
Daniel Silverman of the University of Michigan, studied more than
17,000 people in Britain and 12,000 in the United states and found:

o Even short teenagers who grow into normal-size adults are
doomed to earn up to 13 percent less in the workplace
than people who were tall as teens.

o The earnings gap widens over the short teen's life - again,
regardless of how tall an adult he or she becomes.

o This "height premium" is comparable to wage gaps caused by
race and gender.

Silverman concludes the possible return on a $25,000-per-year
investment in growth hormone -- as much as a 2.7 percent boost in wages
for every inch gained -- is too tempting to ignore.

However, others fear if physicians give growth hormones to children
who fall below the mean, the mean could rise, too, creating a whole new
class of kids who qualify for the drugs.

Source: Arlene Weintraub and Michael Arndt, "My, How You've Grown,"
BusinessWeek, November 28, 2005; and Dan Silverman, Nicola Persico and
Andrew Postlewaite, "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor
Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy,
Vol. 112, No. 5, May 2004.


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