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Those Tall Smart People Could Really Get Screwed…

June 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Greg Mankiw notes in his research that taxing height is not such a bad idea from an economic perspective. After all, tall people are given an unearned advantage in life, right? (For those of you that aren’t convinced, a friend of mine told me about a study where, in a mating sense, the compensating differential needed for 6 inches of lost height was found to be about $140,000 in income. Sheesh.)

A NYT article last week discussed findings that first-born children have, on average, IQs about 3 points higher than other people. (For those of you that are curious, the difference is atributed to nurture rather than nature, which is weird since I didn’t think that IQ was sensitive to environment.) Does this mean that taxing first-born children would also make sense economically? I think the excerpt from the article, reprinted below, helps make the case:

Three points on an I.Q. test may not sound like much. But experts say it can be a tipping point for some people — the difference between a high B average and a low A, for instance. That, in turn, can have a cumulative effect that could mean the difference between admission to an elite private liberal-arts college and a less exclusive public one.

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