The Effect of Obesity on Wages and Employment: The Difference Between Having a High BMI and Being Fat
AbstractIn this paper, we re-examine the relationship between overweight and labour market success, using indicators of individual body composition along with BMI (Body Mass Index). We use the dataset from Finland in which weight, height, fat mass and waist circumference are not self-reported, but obtained as part of the overall health examination. We find that waist circumference, but not weight or fat mass, has a negative effect on wages for women, whereas all measures of obesity have negative effects on women’s employment probabilities. For men, the only obesity measure that is significant for men’s employment probabilities is fat mass. One interpretation of our findings is that the negative wage effects of overweight on wages run through the discrimination channel, but that the negative effects of overweight on employment have more to do with ill health. All in all, measures of body composition provide a more refined picture about the effects of obesity on wages and employment.
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 Hanken School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 528.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 13 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Hanken School of Economics, Arkadiankatu 22, P.O.B. 479; FIN 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358-9-431 331
Fax: +358-9-431 33 333
Web page: http://www.hanken.fi
More information through EDIRC
wages; employment; bmi; overweight; obesity; fatness; adiposity;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-12-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2007-12-08 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2007-12-08 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2007-12-08 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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.:
- John Cawley & Markus M. Grabka & Dean R. Lillard, 2005.
"A Comparison of the Relationship between Obesity and Earnings in the U.S. and Germany,"
Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften,
Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 119-129.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004.
"The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Greve, Jane, 2007. "Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: New Danish Evidence," Working Papers 07-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Hübler, Olaf, 2006. "The Nonlinear Link between Height and Wages: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 2394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993.
"Beauty and the Labor Market,"
NBER Working Papers
4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Strandvik, Tore & Holmlund, Maria & Edvardsson, Bo, 2008. "Customer Needing - Conceptualising Industrial Service from a Customer Perspective," Working Papers 536, Hanken School of Economics.
- Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
- Wägar, Karolina & Björk, Peter & Ravald, Annika & West, Björn, 2007. "Exploring Marketing in Micro Firms," Working Papers 531, Hanken School of Economics.
- Roy Wada & Erdal Tekin, 2007.
"Body Composition and Wages,"
NBER Working Papers
13595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Giorgio Brunello & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2008.
"The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective,"
- Brunello, Giorgio & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Giorgio Brunello & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," Working Papers 586, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- Sjöholm, Hans-Kristian, 2007. "The Impact of New Capital Requirements on the Portfolio Decisions of Finnish Pension Institutions," Working Papers 532, Hanken School of Economics.
- Ahlgren, Niklas & Juselius, Mikael, 2009.
"Tests for Cointegration Rank and the Initial Condition,"
539, Hanken School of Economics.
- Niklas Ahlgren & Mikael Juselius, 2012. "Tests for cointegration rank and the initial condition," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 667-691, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Staffan Dellringer).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.