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Does obesity influence labour market outcomes among working-age adults? Evidence from Canadian longitudinal data

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  • Larose, Samantha L.
  • Kpelitse, Koffi A.
  • Campbell, M. Karen
  • Zaric, Gregory S.
  • Sarma, Sisira

Abstract

Although a negative association between obesity and labour market outcomes is commonly reported in many studies, the causal nature of this relationship remains unclear. Using nationally representative longitudinal data from the last six confidential master files (2000/2001–2010/2011) of the National Population Health Survey, we examine the association between obesity and employment participation and earnings among working-age adults in Canada. After controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, lifestyle factors and time-invariant individual heterogeneity, our results show that obesity is not significantly associated with employment participation but is associated with reduced hourly wage rate and annual income among women by about 4% and 4.5%, respectively. The corresponding results for men show that obesity is associated with about 2% reduction in wage rate and income, but significant at 10% level. However, after controlling for the potential reverse causality bias using the lagged measure of obesity, the effect of obesity on wage rate and income became positive or statistically non-significant. Our findings suggest that obesity is not causally associated with negative labour market outcomes among working-age men in Canada. For working-age women, we find limited evidence of negative labour market outcomes.

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  • Larose, Samantha L. & Kpelitse, Koffi A. & Campbell, M. Karen & Zaric, Gregory S. & Sarma, Sisira, 2016. "Does obesity influence labour market outcomes among working-age adults? Evidence from Canadian longitudinal data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 26-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:20:y:2016:i:c:p:26-41
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2015.09.007
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    Cited by:

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    2. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2018. "Smoking, Obesity, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 18023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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    4. Kinge, Jonas Minet, 2016. "Waist circumference, body mass index and employment outcomes," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2016:4, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.
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    7. Conor Lennon, 2018. "Who pays for the medical costs of obesity? New evidence from the employer mandate," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(12), pages 2016-2029, December.
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    9. Han, Seung-Yong & Brewis, Alexandra A. & SturtzSreetharan, Cindi, 2018. "Employment and weight status: The extreme case of body concern in South Korea," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 115-121.
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    11. Kelly, Inas R. & Doytch, Nadia & Dave, Dhaval, 2019. "How does body mass index affect economic growth? A comparative analysis of countries by levels of economic development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 58-73.

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