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The Wage Effects of Social Norms: Evidence of Deviations from Peers’ Body-Mass in Europe

  • Fahr, René

    ()

    (University of Paderborn)

We investigate wage effects of deviations from peer group body mass index (BMI) to evaluate the influence of social norms on wages. Our approach allows for disentangling the influence of the social norm from any (anticipated) productivity effects associated with deviations from a clinically recommended BMI. Estimates of between effects models for 9 European countries for the years 1998-2001 suggest that the influence of the social norm varies considerably between countries and wage penalties are rather found for upward deviations from the norm and for men.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2323.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2323
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  1. Jaume Garcia Villar & Climent Quintana, 2005. "Body size, activity, employment and wages in Europe: A first approach," Economics Working Papers 897, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2006.
  2. Alessie, Rob & Kapteyn, Arie, 1991. "Habit Formation, Interdependent References and Demographic Effects in the Almost Ideal Demand System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 404-19, May.
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  4. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
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  6. Jaume Garcia & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2005. "Obesity, Wages and Employment in Europe," Labor and Demography 0508002, EconWPA, revised 03 Apr 2006.
  7. 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).
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  9. Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 999-1012, June.
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  13. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  15. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  16. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Harper, Barry, 2000. " Beauty, Stature and the Labour Market: A British Cohort Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 771-800, Special I.
  19. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  20. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  21. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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