IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp12078.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Body Weight for Health, Earnings and Life Satisfaction

Author

Listed:
  • Hübler, Olaf

    () (Leibniz University of Hannover)

Abstract

Based on the German Socio-Economic Panel, the influence of the body mass index on health, earnings and satisfaction is analysed by gender. Basic results are: health worsens, income declines and satisfaction is poorer with higher body mass index. If control variables are added, estimates are split by gender and different effects of over- and underweight people are determined, the health estimates show nonlinear effects but the direction of action is unchanged. Effects on earnings differ. Underweight women earn more and overweight less than others. For normal-weight men the income is on average higher than for over- and underweight men. This is also confirmed for self-employed persons. The pattern for employees is equal to the total sample. No effects on life satisfaction can be found except for underweight men. They reveal less satisfaction. Only in the public sector the sign of the coefficient changes. The results for eastern Germany are different with respect to satisfaction. Overweight women are less satisfied than others while this is not confirmed for underweight men from eastern Germany. When interdependencies are taken into account and matching procedures are applied, the outcome matches to that of independent and unmatched estimates. However, no clear-cut disadvantage in income of underweight men can be found. Stable coefficients result for the health estimates while satisfaction results fluctuate. Underweight women and especially underweight men tend to less happiness. For overweight men the influence is ambiguous but more speaks in favour of a less level of satisfaction. Overweight women seem to be happier.

Suggested Citation

  • Hübler, Olaf, 2019. "The Role of Body Weight for Health, Earnings and Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 12078, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12078
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp12078.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Justin Cook, C. & Fletcher, Jason M., 2015. "Understanding heterogeneity in the effects of birth weight on adult cognition and wages," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 107-116.
    2. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:30:y:2012:i:1:p:67-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alberto Abadie, 2018. "Statistical Non-Significance in Empirical Economics," NBER Working Papers 24403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sabia, Joseph J. & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Body weight and wages: Evidence from Add Health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 14-19.
    5. Luo, Mi & Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2011. "Non-linear relationship between body mass index and labor market outcomes: new evidence from China," MPRA Paper 38936, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2012.
    6. Alois Stutzer & Armando N. Meier, 2016. "Limited Self‐control, Obesity, and the Loss of Happiness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1409-1424, November.
    7. Caliendo, Marco & Gehrsitz, Markus, 2016. "Obesity and the labor market: A fresh look at the weight penalty," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 209-225.
    8. Hainmueller, Jens, 2012. "Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects: A Multivariate Reweighting Method to Produce Balanced Samples in Observational Studies," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Komlos, John & Brabec, Marek, 2011. "The trend of BMI values of US adults by deciles, birth cohorts 1882-1986 stratified by gender and ethnicity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 234-250, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Marina Selini Katsaiti, 2012. "Obesity and happiness," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(31), pages 4101-4114, November.
    13. Goebel, Jan & Grabka, Markus M. & Liebig, Stefan & Kroh, Martin & Richter, David & Schröder, Carsten & Schupp, Jürgen, 2019. "The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 345-360.
    14. Heineck, Guido, 2006. "Height and weight in Germany, evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel, 2002," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 359-382, December.
    15. Wang-Sheng Lee & Zhong Zhao, 2017. "Height, Weight and Well-Being for Rural, Urban and Migrant Workers in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 117-136, May.
    16. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    17. F. Kropfhäußer & M. Sunder, 2015. "A weighty issue revisited: the dynamic effect of body weight on earnings and satisfaction in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(41), pages 4364-4376, September.
    18. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899.
    20. Alois Stutzer, 2009. "Happiness when Temptation Overwhelms Willpower," Chapters, in: Amitava Krishna Dutt & Benjamin Radcliff (ed.), Happiness, Economics and Politics, chapter 5, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    21. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Andreas Steinmayr, 2015. "Radius matching on the propensity score with bias adjustment: tuning parameters and finite sample behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, August.
    22. Easterlin, Richard A., 2010. "Happiness, Growth, and the Life Cycle," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199597093 edited by Hinte, Holger & Zimmermann, Klaus F..
    23. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
    24. 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.
    25. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
    26. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Review 1: Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 441-454, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    over- and underweight; health; income; satisfaction; gender; self-confidence; wage earners vs. self-employed; private vs. public sector; Eastern vs. Western Germany; interdependencies; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12078. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.