Left-Handed Workers make 10-12% Less than Right-Handed Workers

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Left-hander at work (AP Photo)

As if there weren’t already enough insults out there to frustrate a left-handed person (scissors, computer mouses, the whole handwriting thing, etc), it turns out being left-hand dominant costs you earnings too.


A new study (pdf) shows people who are right-handed make more money than lefties. The difference averages out to about 10% to 12%.


Righties in the United States ages 25 to 29 make an average of $22,420 versus $21,120 for lefties, according to Harvard assistant professor Joshua Goodman in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.


The discrepancy holds up among both men and women. Left-handed men make less than their right-handed counterparts ($25,000 vs. $27,450), while women in the left camp make $14,460 versus $17,860 for those in the right camp.


Researchers didn’t pinpoint a reason for the difference, but suggested it might be because of cognitive problems that have been found to be more prevalent in left-handers.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

The Wages of Sinistrality: Handedness, Brain Structure, and Human Capital Accumulation (by Joshua Goodman, Journal of Economic Perspectives) (pdf)

Why Lefties Make Less (by Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic)


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