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IFS Working Papers
March 2006 W06/07
The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results
Type: IFS Working Papers
Authors: Kevin Denny and Vincent O'Sullivan
ISSN: 1742-0415
Volume, issue, pages: 35 pp.
Keywords: Earnings, brain, left-handed, laterality
Now published in: Journal of Human Resources [Details]

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This paper provides the first estimates of the effects of handedness on hourly earnings. Augmenting a conventional earnings equation with an indicator of left handedness shows there is a well determined positive effect on male earnings with non-manual workers enjoying a slightly larger premium. These results are inconsistent with the view that left-handers in general are in some sense handicapped either innately or through experiencing a world geared towards right-handers. The results for females however reveal the opposite, left-handed females are paid significantly less. This is consistent with some psychological evidence which suggests that left-hander males have particular talents such as enhanced creativity and some evidence on brain morphology which also suggests advantages for left-handed males.

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