Being left-handed is determined by both genetic and environmental factors
Being left-handed is determined by both genetic and environmental factors

Left-handed people earn 10% less than right-handed people, study finds

'Lefties' have different brain structures to their right-handed counterparts

Antonia Molloy
Monday 08 December 2014 17:56

Left-handed people often feel like they’re living in a right-handed world – but they may be surprised to hear that research suggests they’re also more likely to earn less money.

A Harvard professor found that left-handed people have different brain structures to their right-handed counterparts, which can potentially put them at an economic disadvantage.

Joshua Goodman, assistant professor of public policy, found that on average left-handed people earn 10 per cent less than right-handed people.

In his study, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Goodman also found that lefties tend to score lower on maths and reading tests and are less likely to complete university.

“My study found that that differential brain wiring may affect the way people process language. And that seems to have a little effect on math scores, reading scores, and earnings later in life,” Goodman told Fox News.

Goodman analysed data compiled by both American and British researchers that spanned from the 1970s to today. He looked at variables including birth weight, cognitive skills and annual earnings.

He found that being left-handed was determined by both genetic and environmental factors. For example, a child with two left-handed parents is more likely to inherit the trait, but a child who had poor health as a baby or whose mother was stressed during pregnancy is also more likely to be left-handed.

However, Goodman concluded that while left-handedness in itself would not impinge upon an individual’s prospects, it might serve as a warning sign for parents and teachers.

But if you’re still feeling a bit uneasy after reading this, don’t panic. Barack Obama, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, James Cameron and Lisa Kudrow are just a few famous members of the lefties club.

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