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Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: New Danish Evidence


  • Greve, Jane

    () (Danish National Institute of Social Research)


This paper analyzes the relationship between three body weight measures and employment status and wages, thereby broadening the perspective of the literature on obesity and labor market outcomes. The analysis uses a unique dataset from a Danish panel survey from 1995 and 2000, combined with administrative registers, covering 8000 individuals. Results show a negative effect of body weight on employment for women, with a small positive effect of being overweight on employment for men. When the sample is split into the private and the public sector, results further show that in the private sector body weight has a negative effect on wages for women but a positive effect for men, whereas in the public sector body weight has no influence on wages for either men or women.

Suggested Citation

  • Greve, Jane, 2007. "Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: New Danish Evidence," Working Papers 07-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2007_013 Note: Published in: Economics & Human Biology, Vol 6, No. 3, 2008 “Obesity and Labour Market Outcomes in Denmark”

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2007. "The Effect of Obesity on Wages and Employment: The Difference Between Having a High BMI and Being Fat," Working Papers 528, Hanken School of Economics.
    2. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Caepr Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. 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.
    4. John Cawley & John Moran & Kosali Simon, 2010. "The impact of income on the weight of elderly Americans," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 979-993, August.
    5. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K., 2013. "Body Mass Index, participation, duration of work and earnings under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Rajasthan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 14-30.
    6. Bruno, Giovanni S. F. & Caroleo, Floro Ernesto & Dessy, Orietta, 2015. "Obesity and Economic Performance of Young Workers in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 9050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Jaume Garcia Villar & Climent Quintana, 2005. "Body size, activity, employment and wages in Europe: A first approach," Economics Working Papers 897, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2006.
    8. DOORLEY Karina & SIERMINSKA Eva, 2011. "Beauty and the beast in the labor market: Evidence from a distribution regression approach," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-62, LISER.
    9. Jaume Garcia & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2005. "Obesity, Wages and Employment in Europe," Labor and Demography 0508002, EconWPA, revised 03 Apr 2006.

    More about this item


    Body weight; Employment; Wages; Endogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General


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