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Labor Market Engagement and the Health of Working Adults: Evidence from India

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  • Archana Dang
  • Pushkar Maitra
  • Nidhiya Menon

Abstract

Driven by rapid income growth, labor market transitions in the nature of jobs, and lifestyle factors, there has been a widespread increase in rates of overweight and obesity in many developing countries. This paper examines the effect of occupational engagement and work intensity on the weight of urban working women and men in India. Using nationally representative data, specifications that reflect different definitions of work, and empirical methods that correct for the influence of unobservables, we document that labor market inactivity is positively associated with BMI. Women engaged in white collar work are about 4.12% heavier than those in blue collar work. For working men, the comparable estimate is about 4.81%. Our paper adds to the fairly limited evidence on the relationship between the labor market engagement and health in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Archana Dang & Pushkar Maitra & Nidhiya Menon, 2018. "Labor Market Engagement and the Health of Working Adults: Evidence from India," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-305, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:dp-305
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    File URL: http://www.bu.edu/econ/files/2018/08/IED_Obesity_labour_market.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aloysius Siow, 2015. "Testing Becker's Theory of Positive Assortative Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 409-441.
    2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    3. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
    4. Joelle Abramowitz, 2016. "The connection between working hours and body mass index in the U.S.: a time use analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 131-154, March.
    5. Joelle Abramowitz, 2016. "The connection between working hours and body mass index in the U.S.: a time use analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 131-154, March.
    6. Mehtabul Azam & Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2013. "The Returns to English-Language Skills in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 335-367.
    7. Roemling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Dual burden households and intra-household nutritional inequality in Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 563-573.
    8. Monda, Keri L. & Gordon-Larsen, Penny & Stevens, June & Popkin, Barry M., 2007. "China's transition: The effect of rapid urbanization on adult occupational physical activity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 858-870, February.
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    10. Colchero, M. Arantxa & Caballero, Benjamin & Bishai, David, 2008. "The effect of income and occupation on body mass index among women in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Surveys (1983-2002)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1967-1978, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Excess Weight; Labor Market; Gender; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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