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Body Weight and Labour Market Outcomes in Post-Soviet Russia

Author

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  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Rizov, Marian

Abstract

This paper estimates the impacts of weight, measured by body mass index (BMI), on employment, wages, and missed work due to illness for Russian adults by gender, in order to better understand the mechanisms through which obesity affects employment, wages, and sick-leave days using recent panel data (1994-2005) from the nationally representative Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS). We employ econometric techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity and potential biases due to endogeneity in BMI. The results show an inverted U-shaped effect of BMI on probability of employment for men and women. We did not find evidence of wage penalty for higher BMI. In fact, the wages for overweighed men are higher. However, having a BMI above 28.3 increases the number of days missing work days due to health problems for men. Overall, we find negative effects of obesity (BMI above 30) on employment only for women but not on wages. During the transition in Russia, the increasingly competitive pressure in the labour market combined with economic insecurity faced by the population has lead to a muted impact of an individual's weight on labour market outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Sonya K. & Rizov, Marian, 2011. "Body Weight and Labour Market Outcomes in Post-Soviet Russia," Staff General Research Papers Archive 33665, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:33665
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p13665-2011-05-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
    2. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    3. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
    4. Cawley, John & Han, Euna & Norton, Edward C., 2009. "Obesity and labor market outcomes among legal immigrants to the United States from developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 153-164, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larose, Samantha L. & Kpelitse, Koffi A. & Campbell, M. Karen & Zaric, Gregory S. & Sarma, Sisira, 2016. "Does obesity influence labour market outcomes among working-age adults? Evidence from Canadian longitudinal data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 26-41.
    2. Chu, Filmer & Ohinmaa, Arto, 2016. "The obesity penalty in the labor market using longitudinal Canadian data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 10-17.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Russia; BMI; Labour outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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