A new NBER paper argues yes:

…we investigate whether an individual’s height is associated with criminality. Recent economic studies have uncovered positive associations between height and labor market outcomes, which suggest that taller individuals experience labor market advantages and, therefore, have fewer incentives to turn to crime (Persico et al 2005; Case and Paxson 2008)… This paper finds, consistent with several labor market studies, an inverse relationship between crime and adult stature, even after controlling for several features likely to influence an individual’s decision to select into criminal activity.

Specifically, we find that the hazard of prison entry for individuals in the fifth quintile of stature was 20 to 30 percent lower than for individuals in the first quintile…. Nineteenth-century criminals were short.

Policy implications anyone? Perhaps Mankiw’s taxation of height will gain steam now. I think a subsidy for shortness would get more traction.

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