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Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the British NCDS

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Author Info

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Lundborg, Petter

    ()
    (Lund University)

  • van der Klaauw, Bas

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

We study the effect of obesity on wages and employment, using data from the British NCDS. The results show a significant negative association between obesity and labor market outcomes even after controlling for a rich set of demographic, socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral variables. After instrumenting with parental obesity the associations are no longer significant. We show that the intergenerational correlation in obesity is mainly due to genetic variation. However, the instruments do not always pass the overidentification tests and are sometimes weak. We are therefore somewhat sceptical about using parental obesity as an instrument.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4099.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Assessing the Impact of Obesity on Labor Market Outcome' in: Economics and Human Biology, 2010, 8 (3), 309-319
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4099

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Keywords: endogeneity; employment; wages; labor; obesity;

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References

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  1. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male-Female Earnings," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-087/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 Aug 2005.
  2. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "Obesity, Attractiveness, and Differential Treatment in Hiring: A Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  3. 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.
  4. Kantarevic, Jasmin & Mechoulan, Stéphane, 2005. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," IZA Discussion Papers 1789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
  7. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  8. 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.
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  10. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Averett, Susan L. & Argys, Laura & Kohn, Jennifer L., 2012. "Immigration, Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 6454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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