Height Matters In China

October 25, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

Studies in the west have found that taller people make more money than shorter ones, on average, due to subconscious biases. In China the preference for height is explicit and institutionalized, writes The Economist:

  • In China your pay can, in part, be determined by your height. Taller security guards, for example, are offered more money than shorter ones because they are more intimidating.
  • However discrimination exists in fields where height makes no difference. Job postings will sometimes include a height requirement, such as for being a cleaner.
  • Even if a height requirement isn’t listed, Chinese applicants will note their height and weight on their resumes.
  • For women each centimeter of height above the mean leads to a 2% increase in pay.
  • The military’s preference for height has gotten to a point where soldiers are becoming too tall for the tanks they drive.
  • This prejudice is exacerbating income inequality. Taller people are more likely to come from wealthy backgrounds. They then get nicer jobs, and raise their children in an environment that allows them to grow even taller.

Read about the university that has a height preference for students, the regional height differences within China, and what this all means for the country over here.

Source: The Economist