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Assessing the impact of obesity on labor market outcomes

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Author Info

  • Lindeboom, Maarten
  • Lundborg, Petter
  • van der Klaauw, Bas

Abstract

We study the effect of obesity on employment, using rich data from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS). The results show a significant negative association between obesity and employment even after controlling for a rich set of demographic, socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral variables. In order to account for the endogeneity of obesity, we use and assess instruments introduced by Cawley (2004); the obesity status of biological relatives. Using parental obesity as an instrument, we show that the association between obesity and employment is no longer significant. Similar results are obtained in a model of first differences. We provide a number of different checks on the instruments, by exploiting the richness of the NCDS data. The results show mixed evidence regarding the validity of the instruments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 309-319

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:3:p:309-319

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

Related research

Keywords: Obesity Employment Instruments Endogeneity Panel data;

References

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  1. Renna, Francesco & Grafova, Irina B. & Thakur, Nidhi, 2008. "The effect of friends on adolescent body weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 377-387, December.
  2. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  3. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
  4. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  6. Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
  7. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
  8. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "No Country for Fat Men? Obesity, Earnings, Skills, and Health among 450,000 Swedish Men," IZA Discussion Papers 4775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Cawley, John H. & Grabka, Markus M. & Lillard, Dean R., 2005. "A Comparison of the Relationship between Obesity and Earnings in the U.S. and Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 119-129.
  10. Trogdon, Justin G. & Nonnemaker, James & Pais, Joanne, 2008. "Peer effects in adolescent overweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1388-1399, September.
  11. Atella, Vincenzo & Pace, Noemi & Vuri, Daniela, 2008. "Are employers discriminating with respect to weight?: European Evidence using Quantile Regression," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 305-329, December.
  12. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  13. Brendan Kline & Justin L. Tobias, 2008. "The wages of BMI: Bayesian analysis of a skewed treatment-response model with nonparametric endogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 767-793.
  14. Edward C. Norton & Euna Han, 2008. "Genetic information, obesity, and labor market outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1089-1104.
  15. John Cawley & Sheldon Danziger, 2005. "Morbid obesity and the transition from welfare to work," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 727-743.
  16. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  18. 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.
  19. Richard V. Burkhauser & John Cawley, 2004. "Obesity, Disability, and Movement Onto the Disability Insurance Rolls," Working Papers wp089, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  20. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "Obesity, Attractiveness, and Differential Treatment in Hiring: A Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  21. Jasmin Kantarevic & Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  22. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mosca, Irene, 2013. "Body mass index, waist circumference and employment: Evidence from older Irish adults," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 522-533.
  2. Donal O'Neill & Olive sweetman, 2012. "The Consequences of Measurement Error when Estimating the Impact of BMI on Labour Market Outcomes," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n232b-12.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. Caliendo, Marco & Gehrsitz, Markus, 2014. "Obesity and the Labor Market: A Fresh Look at the Weight Penalty," IZA Discussion Papers 7947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Heiland, Frank, 2014. "Racial differences in the influence of female adolescents’ body size on dating and sex," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 140-152.
  5. Caliendo, Marco & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2013. "Fat chance! Obesity and the transition from unemployment to employment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 121-133.
  6. O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Estimating Obesity Rates in the Presence of Measurement Error," IZA Discussion Papers 7288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Ali, Mir M. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Rizzo, John A., 2012. "The influence of body weight on social network ties among adolescents," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 20-34.
  8. Reichert, A.;, 2013. "Obesity, Weight Loss, and Employment Prospects: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Mosca, Irene, 2012. "Obesity and Employment in Ireland: Moving Beyond BMI," Papers WP431, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  10. Guardado, José R. & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "A Model of Worker Investment in Safety and Its Effects on Accidents and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7428, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Sabia, Joseph J. & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Body weight and wages: Evidence from Add Health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 14-19.

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