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Obesity and Happiness

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  • Marina-Selini Katsaiti

Abstract

This paper provides insight on the relationship between obesity and happiness. Using the latest available cross sectional data from Germany (GSOEP 2006), UK (BHPS 2005), and Australia (HILDA 2007). We examine whether there is evidence on the impact of overweight on subjective well being. The Hausman test is employed in the univariate and multivariate specifications chosen and reveals evidence for the presence of endogeneity in the German and the Australian data. Instrumental variable analysis is performed under the presence of endogeneity whereas for the UK we run OLS regressions. Results indicate that in all three countries obesity has a negative and significant effect on the subjective well being of individuals. For Germany, using a differences-in-differences methodology, I find that non-overweight/non-obese individuals are on average 0.5 units happier than their overweight/obese counterparts. Our findings also have important implications for the effect of other socio-demographic, economic and individual characteristics on well being.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 270.

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Length: 31 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp270

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Keywords: Happiness; obesity; instrumental variable analysis; subjective well-being;

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References

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  1. Philip Shaw & Marina‐Selini Katsaiti & Marius Jurgilas, 2011. "Corruption And Growth Under Weak Identification," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 264-275, 01.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Maximising Happiness?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 145-167, 05.
  3. Judith Cornelisse-Vermaat & Gerrit Antonides & Johan Ophem & Henriette Brink, 2006. "Body Mass Index, Perceived Health, and Happiness: Their Determinants and Structural Relationships," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 143-158, October.
  4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness," Working papers 2007/07, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 190, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Obesity, widowhood & happiness
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-01-26 14:11:47
  2. Obesity and Happiness
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-01-26 09:13:45
  3. Fetma och lycka
    by nonicoclolasos in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-02-25 05:03:37
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Cited by:
  1. Kropfhäußer, Frieder & Sunder, Marco, 2013. "A weighty issue revisited: the dynamic effect of body weight on earnings and satisfaction in Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79895, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Pugno, Maurizio, 2013. "Scitovsky and the income-happiness paradox," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-10.
  3. Frieder Kropfhäußer & Marco Sunder, 2014. "A Weighty Issue Revisited: The Dynamic Effect of Body Weight on Earnings and Satisfaction in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 635, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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