Lefties Earn 10% Less Than Righties

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Well, this is weird. Danielle Kurtzleben summarizes a new study called “The Wages of Sinistrality”:

In the data, around 11 to 13 percent of the population was left-handed. And when broken down by gender — that is, comparing women to women and men to men — those lefties have annual earnings around 10 to 12 percent lower than those of righties, Goodman writes, which is equal to around a year of schooling. (That gap varied by survey and by gender, however.) Most of this gap can be attributed to “observed differences in cognitive skills and emotional or behavioral problems,” he writes, adding that since lefties tend to do more manual work than right-handers, the gap appears to be due to differences in cognitive abilities, not physical.

Apparently the cognitive differences were already well known (though I didn’t know about them), but this paper is the first to document the earnings gap. It’s surprisingly large. So if you’re a lefty and you’re doing well, congratulations! You’ve beaten the odds.

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