Daily Chart: Tall People Have Better Lives


Via Catherine Rampell, I see there's some new research about the relationship between height and quality of life. The findings? Tall people enjoy a higher quality of life. Specifically, the Talls are richer and happier than the Shorts. (The paper in question has some cool charts, which I'll happily steal.) Here's happier:

tall people appier.png
And here's richer:

tall people richer.pngA while back Greg Mankiw suggested that maybe we should have a height tax -- not with the intention of enacting one (as was sometimes misunderstood) but with the intention of sussing out a moral intuition about the appropriate role of taxes. A height tax sounds horrible and absurd, but it would actually be pretty darn efficient: You would get the benefit of taxing something strongly correlated with a higher income, without the drawback of distorting incentives or decreasing effort. You can change how hard you work; you can't really change your height.

I share Greg's moral intuition that a height tax would be, somehow, wrong. But the more I see data like this, the more I think it might be a good (if utterly impractical) idea.

Presented by

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

Video

Is Minneapolis the Best City in America?

No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well.

More in Politics

Just In