Do taller people really make more money

Do taller people make more money?

According to a meta-analysis of four studies (> 8,000 subjects in total) by Judge and Cable (2004):

Height is positively related to income after gender, age and weight have been checked.

A study by Persico et al. 2004 provides a further review and analysis of the height-to-income ratio and indicates that most presidents are well above the average height of their time (see figure below). Finally, an article by Scientific American offers an interesting discussion of the relationship between size and other characteristics.


Judge and Cable, 2004, The Impact of Height on Success and Income in the Workplace: Preliminary Trial of a Theoretical Model.J Appl Psychol.Jun; 89 (3): 428- 41.doi: 10.1037 / 0021-9010.89.3.428

Persico, Nicola, Andrew Postlewaite, and Dan Silverman.2004. The Impact of Youth Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Fall of Height, ”Journal of Political Economy, 112 (5) (2004), 1019-1053doi: 10.1086 / 422566


Silvio Berlusconi, Nicolas Sarkozy and Benito Mussolini are / were all pretty short. Must be a right thing.


The "average population size" , is this the total population or just the adult male population?

David LeBauer

Looks like the mean (5'6) if for men not the entire population (according to Wolframalpha)


The size of the presidents in this case is noise - most of the leaders of the most powerful countries on earth are average or below average (France, Canada, Russia, Japan, India, etc.). I think this answer is scientific would have to look at different types of jobs even if you were solely concerned with America. As it is phrased, the question is as subjective as "do people of color make less money" - it is useless without context.

David LeBauer

@Stumbler Your comment relates only to the one paper on the height of the presidents. I agree that this would be insufficient evidence if it were the only evidence. However, I have given three references, only one of which uses the presidents' height as evidence. Have you had a chance to read the 2004 Judge & Cable and Scientific American articles?