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Obesity and Employment in Ireland: Moving Beyond BMI

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  • Mosca, Irene
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    Abstract

    I use data from the first wave of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) to investigate the impact of obesity on the labour market status of older Irish individuals. I employ an anthropometric indicator of body composition (waist circumference) along with body mass index. I include a wide array of subjective and objective health indicators in the empirical model. I find that obese women are less likely to be at work. However, both the magnitude and statistical significance of this correlation are sensitive to the definition of obesity. Factors other than socioeconomic characteristics and health are also found to play a role in explaining why obese older women are less likely to be employed. Much weaker evidence is found for men.

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    File URL: http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/WP430/WP431.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP431.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp431

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    Keywords: BMI/data/employment/Individuals/Ireland/labour market/older/Waist Circumference;

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    1. 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.
    2. Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
    3. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March.
    4. Lindeboom, Maarten & Lundborg, Petter & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2010. "Assessing the impact of obesity on labor market outcomes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 309-319, December.
    5. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," NBER Working Papers 4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Wada, Roy & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Body composition and wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 242-254, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
    10. Asgeirsdottir, Tinna Laufey, 2011. "Do body weight and gender shape the work force? The case of Iceland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 148-156, March.
    11. Jaume Garcia Villar & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2006. "Income and body mass index in Europe," Economics Working Papers 1001, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2008.
    12. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    13. Brunello, Giorgio & D'Hombres, Beatrice, 2007. "Does body weight affect wages?: Evidence from Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
    14. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Bozoyan, Christiane & Wolbring, Tobias, 2011. "Fat, muscles, and wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 356-363.
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