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Body mass index and employment status: a new look

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  • Kinge, Jonas Minet

    () (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway)

Abstract

Earlier literature has usually modelled the impact of obesity on employment status as a binary choice (employed, yes/no). I provide new evidence on the impact of obesity on employment status by treating the dependent variable as a as a multinomial choice variable. Using data from a representative English survey, with measured height and weight on parents and children, I define employment status as one of four: working; looking for paid work; permanently not working due to disability; and, looking after home or family. I use a multinomial logit model controlling for a set of covariates and I instrument for BMI based on genetic variation in weight. I find that BMI and obesity has a statistically significant impact on the probability of “not working due to disability”. The results for the other employment outcomes are less clear. My findings also suggest that the reason for the impact of obesity on employment is due to obesity being a deliberating health condition. Factors other than health may be less important in explaining the impact of BMI/obesity on employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kinge, Jonas Minet, 2015. "Body mass index and employment status: a new look," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2015:3, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2015_003
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    File URL: http://www.med.uio.no/helsam/forskning/nettverk/hero/publikasjoner/skriftserie/2015/2015-3.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adolescents; Obesity; Body Mass Index;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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