It’s no surprise that height has been associated with power, success, and earnings.
It started as a survival of the fittest deal when it came to physically demanding jobs, but somewhere along the way it moved into the corporate world as well.
And, of course, there have been many studies to prove this, with every inch of height correlating with higher earnings. Previous studies have attributed the correlation to everything from the fact that taller people are more confident (and more social), to others that say that taller people are inherently smarter.
Now, a recent study says that reason is that a little bit of everything contributes to the imbalance – but goes back to childhood. Researchers analyzed data from the United Kingdom that tracked a group of Britons born in 1958 and concluded that neither cognitive nor noncognitive advantages can alone explain the earnings difference.
Instead, they argue that – since both play significant roles in producing the height advantage – the most important variable is how well fed a child is. As nutrition is a major determinant of height, it in turn affects intelligence and those “noncognitive” skills.
They also discovered some surprising correlations when it comes to height: for every two-inch increase in a child’s height, the improvement on cognitive and noncognitive assessments is roughly equivalent to the difference between growing up in a lower-class family and a middle-class family.
But it’s not just height in childhood that determines future earnings.
The 11-year-old boys who were considered “attractive” went on to make 6.5 per cent more money in their thirties than their less attractive peers did. When it came to females, being attractive meant a 10 per cent increase in earnings in adulthood.
Though you can’t control how “attractive” your child will be (two beautiful people have produced homely kids before), you can feed them well, keeping in mind that net nutrition – a major determinant of adult height – fosters both cognitive and
Meaning, your kids will have more cash to care for you in your old age.