IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/uwp/jhriss/v31y1996i2p304-330.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth

Author

Listed:
  • Susan Averett
  • Sanders Korenman

Abstract

We investigate income, marital status, and hourly pay differentials by body mass (kg/m 2 ) in a sample of 23- to 31-year-olds drawn from the 1988 NLSY. Obese women have lower family incomes than women whose weight-for-height is in the "recommended" range. Results for men are weaker and mixed. We find similar results when we compare same-sex siblings in order to control for family background (for example, social class) differences. Differences in economic status by body mass for women increase markedly when we use an earlier weight measure or restrict the sample to persons who were single and childless when the early weight was reported. There is some evidence of labor market discrimination against obese women. Differences in marriage probabilities and spouse's earnings, however, account for 50 to 95 percent of their lower economic status. There is little evidence that obese African American women suffer an economic penalty relative to other African American women.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:2:p:304-330
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/146065
    Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard H. Steckel, 1992. "Stature and Living Standards in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 265-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1986:76:9:1135-1137_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:10:1322-1325_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Randall K. Filer, 1993. "The Usefulness of Predicted Values for Prior Work Experience in Analyzing Labor Market Outcomes for Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 519-537.
    6. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:2:p:304-330. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://jhr.uwpress.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.