Self discrimination: A field experiment on obesity
Empirical evidence suggests that physical characteristics such as obesity can result in a salary gap in the work place. It is, however, not clear how much of this (gap) is due to factors emanating from the demand or supply side of the market. In this paper we use a field experiment to study whether a part of this wage gap can be attributed to personality traits of individuals on the supply side. Monitors randomly select individuals to respond to a questionnaire. Individuals can make money requests for completing the questionnaire. In the questionnaire they also self-report several personality chracteristics. We find that the more obese individuals perceive themselves to be, lesser is the money they request. The negative association between money requests and obesity is mostly driven by female participants. The effect of (self-perceived) non-obese individuals is asymmetric across gender. Self perceived "normal" females, perceived thin by the monitors, request more, meanwhile, males in this category request less relative to those that do not overstate their obesity levels. Our results suggest that lower salary request may anchor obese individuals to lower thresholds and may partly explain the wage gap.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
- James Heckman, 2011.
"Policies to foster human capital,"
Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
- James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," Working Papers 0028, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
- Atella, Vincenzo & Pace, Noemi & Vuri, Daniela, 2008.
"Are employers discriminating with respect to weight?: European Evidence using Quantile Regression,"
Economics & Human Biology,
Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 305-329, December.
- Vincenzo Atella & Noemi Pace & Daniela Vuri, 2008. "Are employers discriminating with respect to weight? European Evidence using Quantile Regression," CEIS Research Paper 123, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
- Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
- Andreoni,J. & Petrie,R., 2004. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes : evidence from laboratory experiments," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Beauty, Gender and Stereotypes: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-22, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
- Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers Archive 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Cawley & Sheldon Danziger, 2005. "Morbid obesity and the transition from welfare to work," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 727-743.
- Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
- John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wada, Roy & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Body composition and wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 242-254, July.
- Piketty, Thomas, 1998. "Self-fulfilling beliefs about social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 115-132, October.
- Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
- John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
- Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:beb:wpseet:201404. 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: (Fatma Aslan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.