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Marriage markets as explanation for why heavier people work more hours

Author

Listed:
  • Shoshana Grossbard

    (San Diego State University
    IZA
    CESifo)

  • Sankar Mukhopadhyay

    (IZA
    University of Nevada Reno)

Abstract

Is BMI related to hours of work through marriage market mechanisms? We empirically explore this issue using data from the NLSY79 and NLSY97 and a number of estimation strategies (including OLS, IV, and sibling FE). Our IV estimates (with same-sex sibling’s BMI as an instrument and a large set of controls including wage) suggest that a one-unit increase in BMI leads to an almost 2% increase in White married women’s hours of work. However, BMI is not associated with hours of work of married men. We also find that a one-unit increase in BMI leads to a 1.4% increase in White single women’s hours of work, suggesting that single women may expect future in-marriage transfers that vary by body weight. We show that the positive association between BMI and hours of work of White single women increases with self-assessed probability of future marriage and varies with expected cumulative spousal income. Comparisons between the association between BMI and hours of work for White and Black married women suggest a possible racial gap in intra-marriage transfers from husbands to wives.

Suggested Citation

  • Shoshana Grossbard & Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2017. "Marriage markets as explanation for why heavier people work more hours," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-017-0059-y
    DOI: 10.1186/s40172-017-0059-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Kazuma Sato, 2021. "Relationship between marital status and body mass index in Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 813-841, September.
    2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2021. "Spousal age gap and identity and their impact on the allocation of housework," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 1059-1083, February.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2019. "Spousal gaps in age and identity, and their impact on the allocation of housework," MPRA Paper 92059, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Obesity; Labor supply; Marriage; Marriage market; Gender; Race; Intra-household bargaining; Personal finances;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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