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Anthropometry and socioeconomics in the couple: evidence from the PSID

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  • Climent Quintana Domeque

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Sonia Oreffice

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We analyze empirically the marriage-market aspects of body size, weight, and height in the United States using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics on anthropometric characteristics of both spouses. We find evidence of positive sorting in spouses’ BMI, in their weight, and in their height. Within couples, gender-asymmetric trade-offs arise not only between physical and socio-economic attributes, but also between anthropometric attributes, with significant penalties for fatter women and shorter men. A wife’s obesity (body size or weight) measures are negatively correlated with her husband’s income, education, and height, controlling for his weight (or body size) and her height, along with spouses’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Conversely, heavier husbands are not penalized by matching with poorer or less educated wives, but only with shorter ones. Height is valued in the market mainly for men, with shorter men matched with heavier and less educated wives.

Suggested Citation

  • Climent Quintana Domeque & Sonia Oreffice, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics in the couple: evidence from the PSID," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-16, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2010-16
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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    weight; height; BMI; marriage market;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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