Height in mid childhood and psychosocial competencies in late childhood: Evidence from four developing countries

We use longitudinal data from children growing up in four developing countries (Peru, India, Vietnam, Ethiopia) to study the relationship between height at the age of 7–8 and a set of psychosocial competencies measured at the age of 11–12 that are known to be correlated with earnings during adulthood: self-efficacy, self-esteem and aspirations. Results show that a one standard deviation increase in height-for-age tends to increase self-efficacy, self-esteem and aspirations by 10.4%, 6.4% and 5.1%, respectively. We argue that these findings are likely to be informing of an underlying relationship between undernutrition and the formation of non-cognitive skills.