HBR.org: Thin Men Get Lower Pay than Average-Weight Men
Last Friday Harvard Business Review in its “The Daily Stat” series quoted some results of research done by Timothy A. Judge of the University of Florida and Daniel M. Cable of London Business School. Researchers found that a man in the U.S. whose weight is 25 pounds below the mean earns $210,925 less, on average, across a 25-year career than a man whose weight is at the mean a woman who is 25 pounds below the mean earns $389,300 more across the same time span than an average-weight woman. Based on this researchers concluded that rewards people for meeting gender-role expectations on weight.
While I find the results a bit amusing, the researches may have come to a wrong conclusion that lower/higher weight is one of causes of higher/lower pay. It looks like they disregarded the fact that lower/higher pay may drive choices that lead to lower/higher pay. That is, in this case it is not very clear what the cause is and what the effect is.