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The incidence of the healthcare costs of obesity

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  • Bhattacharya, Jay
  • Bundorf, M. Kate
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    Abstract

    Who pays the healthcare costs associated with obesity? Among workers, this is largely a question of the incidence of the costs of employer-sponsored coverage. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we find that the incremental healthcare costs associated with obesity are passed on to obese workers with employer-sponsored health insurance in the form of lower cash wages. Obese workers without employer-sponsored insurance do not have a wage offset relative to their non-obese counterparts. A substantial part of the lower wages among obese women attributed to labor market discrimination can be explained by their higher health insurance premiums.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 649-658

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:649-658

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

    Related research

    Keywords: Obesity Compensating differential Employer-sponsored health insurance Discrimination Wage;

    References

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    1. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
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    9. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
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    11. Louise Sheiner, 1999. "Health care costs, wages, and aging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:
    1. Mikko Packalen & Jay Bhattacharya, 2010. "The Other Ex-Ante Moral Hazard in Health," Working Papers 1015, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
    2. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2013. "Health insurance as a two-part pricing contract," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-12.
    3. Lusk, Jayson L., 2013. "Lunch with Pigou: Externalities and the “Hidden†Cost of Food," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(3), December.
    4. Bailey, James, 2013. "Who pays for obesity? Evidence from health insurance benefit mandates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 287-289.
    5. Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Michael Hummer & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Health Screening," Economics working papers 2012-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    6. Marco Caliendo & Markus Gehrsitz, 2014. "Obesity and the Labor Market: A Fresh Look at the Weight Penalty," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 631, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. 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.
    8. Chen, Alice J., 2012. "When does weight matter most?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 285-295.
    9. Manan Roy, 2011. "How Well Does the U.S. Government Provide Health Insurance?," Departmental Working Papers 1102, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    10. Cowan, Benjamin & Schwab, Benjamin, 2011. "The incidence of the healthcare costs of smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1094-1102.
    11. Vasilios Kosteas, 2012. "The Effect of Exercise on Earnings: Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 225-250, June.
    12. Wehby, George L. & Murray, Jeffrey C. & Wilcox, Allen & Lie, Rolv T., 2012. "Smoking and body weight: Evidence using genetic instruments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 113-126.
    13. Jessica Vistnes & Thomas Selden, 2011. "Premium growth and its effect on employer-sponsored insurance," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 55-81, March.
    14. PAN, Jay & QIN, Xuezheng & LIU, Gordon G., 2013. "The impact of body size on urban employment: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 249-263.

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