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The obesity penalty in the labor market using longitudinal Canadian data

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  • Chu, Filmer
  • Ohinmaa, Arto

Abstract

A Canadian study of weight discrimination also known as the obesity wage-penalty. This paper adds to the limited Canadian literature while also introducing a causal model, which can be applied to future Canadian studies. A general working-class sample group is utilized with personal income, which removes many biases introduced in other studies. The evidence suggests that a 1-unit increase in lagged BMI is associated with a 0.7% decrease in personal for obese Canadian females. Similar to other studies, the male results are inconsistent. The evidence brought forward in this study can provide an effective financial incentive for health promotion among Canadians for law and policy makers. Beyond health reasons, these results can also be applied as empirical evidence of gender discrimination based on body image perception. The evidence suggests that male physique is not a contributing factor in income, but larger female physique is associated with lower personal income.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Filmer & Ohinmaa, Arto, 2016. "The obesity penalty in the labor market using longitudinal Canadian data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 10-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:23:y:2016:i:c:p:10-17
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2018. "Smoking, Obesity, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 18023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. 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.
    3. Brown, Christian & Routon, P. Wesley, 2018. "On the distributional and evolutionary nature of the obesity wage penalty," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 160-172.
    4. Schott, Whitney & Aurino, Elisabetta & Penny, Mary E. & Behrman, Jere R., 2019. "The double burden of malnutrition among youth: Trajectories and inequalities in four emerging economies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 80-91.
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada; Obesity; Wage; Discrimination; Instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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