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Obesity and labor market outcomes among legal immigrants to the United States from developing countries

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  • Cawley, John
  • Han, Euna
  • Norton, Edward C.

Abstract

This paper studies the association between weight and labor market outcomes among legal immigrants to the United States from developing countries using the first nationally representative survey of such individuals. We find that being overweight or obese is associated with a lower probability of employment among women who have been in the U.S. less than five years, but we find no such correlation among men who have been in the U.S. less than five years, or among women or men who have been in the U.S. longer than five years. We generally find no significant association between weight and either wages, sector of employment, or work limitations for either women or men. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Cawley, John & Han, Euna & Norton, Edward C., 2009. "Obesity and labor market outcomes among legal immigrants to the United States from developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 153-164, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:153-164
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    3. Sonya Huffman & Marian Rizov, 2014. "Body weight and labour market outcomes in Post-Soviet Russia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 671-687, July.
    4. Arndt R. Reichert, 2015. "Obesity, Weight Loss, and Employment Prospects: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(3), pages 759-810.
    5. Bhagyashree Katare & Timothy K. M. Beatty, 2018. "Do environmental factors drive obesity? Evidence from international graduate students," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(10), pages 1567-1593, October.
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    7. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
    8. Huffman, Sonya Kostova & Rizov, Marian, 2010. "Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes in Post-Soviet Russia," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61034, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Asgeirsdottir, Tinna Laufey, 2011. "Do body weight and gender shape the work force? The case of Iceland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 148-156, March.
    10. Katare, Bhagyashree, 2014. "Is Obesity Contagious? A Case Study of International Graduate Students," 2014 AAEA/EAAE/CAES Joint Symposium: Social Networks, Social Media and the Economics of Food, May 29-30, 2014, Montreal, Canada 165748, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Arndt Reichert, 2012. "Obesity, Weight Loss, and Employment Prospects – Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Ruhr Economic Papers 0381, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    12. 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.
    13. Susan L. Averett & Laura M. Argys & Jennifer L. Kohn, 2013. "Immigrants, wages and obesity: the weight of the evidence," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 13, pages 242-256, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Laura Argys, 2015. "Consequences of the obesity epidemic for immigrants," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 210-210, December.
    15. Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir & Harpa H. Berndsen & Bryndís Þ. Guðmundsdóttir & Bryndís A. Gunnarsdóttir & Hugrún J. Halldórsdóttir, 2016. "The effect of obesity, alcohol misuse and smoking on employment and hours worked: evidence from the Icelandic economic collapse," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 313-335, June.
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    17. 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.
    18. Katare, Bhagyashree, 2015. "Is Obesity Contagious? Evidence from International Graduate Students (Revised)," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 199049, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Susan Averett & Laura Argys & Jennifer Kohn, 2012. "Immigration, obesity and labor market outcomes in the UK," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, December.
    20. 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.
    21. Colchero, M. Arantxa & Bishai, David, 2012. "Weight and earnings among childbearing women in Metropolitan Cebu, Philippines (1983–2002)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 256-263.
    22. Sif Jónsdóttir & Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir, 2014. "The effect of job loss on body weight during an economic collapse," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(6), pages 567-576, July.
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