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Does Employee Body Weight Affect Employers' Behavior?

  • Lene Kromann

    ()

    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

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    This paper offers a study of possible favoritism of normal-weight individuals when firms make decisions on hiring, firing and promoting. Most existing studies use a wage equation to document dispersion in wages between normal- and overweight, however little is known about the reason for dispersion. Furthermore, the wage equations do not capture the sorting of workers into different occupations and industries. Using an equilibrium search model, this paper takes search friction and cross-firm differences in factor productivity into account, when looking at firm behavior. Addition- ally, a logit model is used to examine the occupation and industry distribution. Most importantly, we find that wage differences between normal-weight and overweight or obese workers are explained by differential firm behavior, both with respect to the job offer arrival rate and to the probability of being promoted. Further, we find that the trade industry hire overweight workers to a lesser extent than other industries.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/09/wp09_04.pdf
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    Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2009-04.

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    Length: 27
    Date of creation: 09 Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2009-04
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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