nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2009‒10‒10
one paper chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in a Poor Developing Country By Jere R. Behrman; John Hoddinott; John A. Maluccio; Reynaldo Martorell

  1. By: Jere R. Behrman; John Hoddinott; John A. Maluccio; Reynaldo Martorell
    Abstract: Previous studies report that adult height has significant associations with wages even controlling for schooling. But schooling and height are imperfect measures of adult cognitive skills (“brains”) and strength (“brawn”); further they are not exogenous. Analysis of rich Guatemalan longitudinal data over 35 years finds that proximate determinants—adult reading comprehension skills and fat-free body mass—have significantly positive associations with wages, but only brains, and not brawn, is significant when both human capital measures are treated as endogenous. Even in a poor developing economy in which strength plausibly has rewards, labor market returns are increased by brains, not brawn.
    Date: 2009–07

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