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Labour market, obesity and public policy considerations

  • Konstantinos Eleftheriou

    ()

    (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates)

  • George Athanasiou

    ()

    (Department of Mathematics, National Technical University of Athens, Greece)

  • Periklis Kougoulis

    ()

    (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates)

This paper attempts to investigate the relation among wages, unemployment, obesity and to identify public policies to address the problem of over-weightness. To this purpose, a simple search and matching model of labour market is developed. Our framework tries to capture the relationship between obesity and employment/unemployment by assuming that the fraction of obese workers is a function of the ratio of vacant jobs to unemployment (labour market tightness). We argue that if obesity is positively related with employment, then socially optimality dictates the imposition of a lump-sum tax on all individuals. In the opposite case a subsidy should be given.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 783-793

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-12-00829
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  1. 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.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tomas Philipson, 2001. "The world-wide growth in obesity: an economic research agenda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
  4. 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.
  5. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
  6. Mann, Stefan, 2006. "Framing Obesity in Economic Theory and Policy," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25619, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  9. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  10. Trenton Smith & Christiana Stoddard & Michael G. Barnes, 2007. "Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity," Working Papers 2007-16, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  11. Cawley, John, 2008. "Contingent valuation analysis of willingness to pay to reduce childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 281-292, July.
  12. 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.
  13. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  14. Komlos, John & Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry, 2003. "Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is there a Connection?," Discussion Papers in Economics 60, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
  16. Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
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