Fatter Attraction: Marital Status and the Relationship between BMI and Labor Supply
AbstractWe empirically analyze the labor supply choices of married men and women according to their body size (BMI), using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics on anthropometric characteristics of both spouses, and unmarried men and women as comparison group. Heavier husbands are found to work significantly more hours and earn more labor income, controlling for both spouses’ demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Conversely, no such effect is found for either unmarried individuals or for married women. We suggest a marriage market mechanism through which male BMI and earnings are positively related. Heavier married men compensate for their negative physical trait by providing their wives with more disposable income, working more hours and earning more. Heavier women may not able to compensate their spouse through labor supply, as female physical traits are more relevant in the marriage market than the corresponding male traits.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.116.
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Body Size; Labor Supply; Earnings; Marriage;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-01-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2010-01-16 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2010-01-16 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004.
"An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marjorie L. Baldwin & Lester A. Zeager & Paul R. Flacco, 1994. "Gender Differences in Wage Losses from Impairments: Estimates from the Survey of Income and Program Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 865-887.
- Giorgio Brunello & Beatrice d'Hombres, 2006.
"Does Body Weight affect Wages? Evidence from Europe,"
"Marco Fanno" Working Papers
0027, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
- 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.
- Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
- Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
- John Cawley & John Moran & Kosali Simon, 2010.
"The impact of income on the weight of elderly Americans,"
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 979-993, August.
- John Cawley & John R. Moran & Kosali I. Simon, 2008. "The Impact of Income on the Weight of Elderly Americans," NBER Working Papers 14104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003.
"Healthy Living in Hard Times,"
IZA Discussion Papers
711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- García Villar, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2009.
"Income and body mass index in Europe,"
Economics & Human Biology,
Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 73-83, March.
- 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.
- Jaume Garcia & Climent Quintana, 2008. "Income and Body Mass Index in Europe," Economic Reports 13-08, FEDEA.
- Vincenzo Atella & Noemi Pace & Daniela Vuri, 2008.
"Are employers discriminating with respect to weight? European Evidence using Quantile Regression,"
CEIS Research Paper
123, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
- 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.
- Averett, Susan L. & Sikora, Asia & Argys, Laura M., 2008. "For better or worse: Relationship status and body mass index," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 330-349, December.
- Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993.
"The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth,"
NBER Working Papers
4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Climent Quintana Domeque & Sonia Oreffice, 2010.
"Anthropometry and socioeconomics in the couple: evidence from the PSID,"
Working Papers. Serie AD
2010-16, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
- Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.