Do Lefties Make More Money?

Bill Gates in 1994Bill is a leftie

Photo: CBS 60 Minutes

Left-handed males earn significantly more than righties, according to a fascinating IFS paper, perhaps due to enhanced creativity.But for unknown reasons left-handed females earn less than average.

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-handed males have particular talents such as enhanced creativity and some evidence on brain morphology which also suggests advantages for left-handed males.

Source: “The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results” from Institute for Fiscal Studies, IFS Working Papers, W06/07.

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