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Labour market, obesity and public policy considerations

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  • Konstantinos Eleftheriou

    ()
    (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates)

  • George Athanasiou

    ()
    (Department of Mathematics, National Technical University of Athens, Greece)

  • Periklis Kougoulis

    ()
    (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates)

Abstract

This paper attempts to investigate the relation among wages, unemployment, obesity and to identify public policies to address the problem of over-weightness. To this purpose, a simple search and matching model of labour market is developed. Our framework tries to capture the relationship between obesity and employment/unemployment by assuming that the fraction of obese workers is a function of the ratio of vacant jobs to unemployment (labour market tightness). We argue that if obesity is positively related with employment, then socially optimality dictates the imposition of a lump-sum tax on all individuals. In the opposite case a subsidy should be given.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 783-793

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-12-00829

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Keywords: Obesity; Taxation; Unemployment; Wages;

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  1. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899.
  2. Giorgio Brunello & Beatrice d'Hombres, 2006. "Does Body Weight affect Wages? Evidence from Europe," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" 0027, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  4. John Cawley, 2006. "Contingent Valuation Analysis of Willingness to Pay To Reduce Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 12510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Trenton Smith & Christiana Stoddard & Michael G. Barnes, 2007. "Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity," Working Papers, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University 2007-16, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  6. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
  9. Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
  10. Mann, Stefan, 2006. "Framing Obesity in Economic Theory and Policy," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia, International Association of Agricultural Economists 25619, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  11. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  12. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  13. Tomas Philipson, 2001. "The world-wide growth in obesity: an economic research agenda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
  14. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
  15. Komlos, John & Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry, 2003. "Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is there a Connection?," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 60, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
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