Being the in 99th percentile in stature for American males, I was mildly intrigued by the new study, “Height, Income and Voting.” The study finds that in Britain “taller individuals are more likely to support the Conservative party, support conservative policies, and vote conservative.” Specifically, the researchers report that a one-inch increase in height increases support for Conservatives by 0.6 percent. It is a well-known in the social science literature that taller people tend to make more money. The researchers here also report that people who make more money also tend to support conservative policies. So being tall and well-off is a Conservative double whammy.
Let’s look a bit deeper inot how the researchers defined “conservative.” The dependent variables parsed in the study are (1) “Private enterprise is the best way to solve the UK’s economic problems”; (2) “Major public services and industries ought to be in state ownership”; (3) “It is the government’s responsibility to provide a job for everyone who wants one”; (4) “The government should place an upper limit on the amount of money that any one person can make”; and (5) “Voted for Conservative Party in 2005 General Election”.
So the only “conservative” policy evaluated in the study was whether the respondents endorsed “private enterprise” over various state interventions in the economy. Based on this data, another reasonable interpretation could be that taller people tend to be more intelligent and therefore actually are more likely to be libertarian.