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Immigration, obesity and labor market outcomes in the UK

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  • Susan Averett

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  • Laura Argys

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  • Jennifer Kohn

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Abstract

We estimate the dual effects of immigration and obesity on labor market outcomes in the UK using the British Household Panel Survey. We find support for the “healthy immigrant hypothesis” and evidence that immigrants’ weights increase with time in the UK. While overweight and obese men enjoy a wage premium, overweight and obese immigrant men face a wage penalty and are less likely to work in a white collar job. Overweight immigrant women are substantially more likely to suffer work limitations. While data limitations preclude efforts to address endogeneity, these associations suggest that immigrants have not been spared from the obesity epidemic. Copyright 2012 Averett et al.; licensee Springer. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:1-19:10.1186/2193-9039-1-2
    DOI: 10.1186/2193-9039-1-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Constant, Amelie F. & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Neuman, Tzahi, 2014. "Micro and Macro Determinants of Health: Older Immigrants in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8754, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Chao Ma & Zhaopeng Qu & Zimeng Xu, 2020. "Internal Migration and Mental Health: An Examination of the Healthy Migration Phenomenon in China," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 39(3), pages 493-517, June.
    3. Daouli, Joan & Davillas, Apostolos & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2013. "The determinants of body mass in Greece: Evidence from the National Health Survey," MPRA Paper 66392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kinge, Jonas Minet, 2015. "Body mass index and employment status: a new look," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2015:3, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.
    5. Kinge, Jonas Minet, 2016. "Body mass index and employment status: A new look," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 117-125.
    6. Laura Argys, 2015. "Consequences of the obesity epidemic for immigrants," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 210-210, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrant; Obesity; Labor market outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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