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Productivity or discrimination? An economic analysis of excess-weight penalty in the Swedish labor market

Using longitudinal data, this paper investigates the penalty for excess weight in the Swedish labor market, distinguishing between the productivity and the discrimination hypotheses. We analyze employment, income, and sickness absence , using the latter as a direct measure of productivity. We find that excess weight women, but not men, experience a significant employment penalty. Both genders experience a significant income penalty for obesity. We conclude that the penalties are associated with lower productivity, primarily in terms of health. We find no evidence of discrimination.

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File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/WP11_12.pdf
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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011:12.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2011_012
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden

Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en

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  17. Angelov, Nikolay & Johansson, Per & Lindahl, Erica, 2013. "Gender differences in sickness absence and the gender division of family responsibilities," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2013:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  18. Ljungvall, Åsa & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lindblad, Ulf, 2012. "Misreporting and Misclassification: Implications for Socioeconomic Disparities in Body-mass Index and Obesity," Working Papers 2012:19, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
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  26. Lindeboom, Maarten & Lundborg, Petter & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2010. "Assessing the impact of obesity on labor market outcomes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 309-319, December.
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