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Does Obesity Hurt Your Wages More in Dublin than in Madrid? Evidence from ECHP

Author

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  • d'Hombres, Beatrice

    () (European Commission)

  • Brunello, Giorgio

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

We use data from the European Community Household Panel to investigate the impact of obesity on wages in 9 European countries, ranging from Ireland to Spain. We find that the common impact of obesity on wages is negative and statistically significant, independently of gender. Given the nature of European labor markets, however, we believe that a common impact is overly restrictive. When we allow this impact to vary across countries, we find a negative relationship between the BMI and wages in the countries of the European "olive belt" and a positive relationship in the countries of the "beer belt". We speculate that such difference could be driven by the interaction between the weather, BMI and individual (unobserved) productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • d'Hombres, Beatrice & Brunello, Giorgio, 2005. "Does Obesity Hurt Your Wages More in Dublin than in Madrid? Evidence from ECHP," IZA Discussion Papers 1704, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1704
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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. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fahr, René, 2006. "The Wage Effects of Social Norms: Evidence of Deviations from Peers’ Body-Mass in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Hübler, Olaf, 2006. "The Nonlinear Link between Height and Wages: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 2394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of Unequal Treatment in Hiring against Obese Applicants: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Europe; body mass index; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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