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Labour Market, Obesity and Public Policy Considerations

  • Eleftheriou, Konstantinos
  • Athanasiou, George

This paper attempts to investigate the relation among wages, unemployment and obesity and to identify public policies to address the problem of over-weightness. To this purpose, a simple search and matching model of labour market is developed. Our framework tries to capture the relationship between obesity and employment/unemployment by assuming that the fraction of obese workers is a function of the ratio of vacant jobs to unemployment (labour market tightness). We argue that if obesity is positively related with employment, then social optimality dictates the imposition of a lump-sum tax on all individuals. In the opposite case a subsidy should be given.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20926.

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Date of creation: 23 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20926
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  1. Cawley, John, 2008. "Contingent valuation analysis of willingness to pay to reduce childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 281-292, July.
  2. Greve, Jane, 2008. "Obesity and labor market outcomes in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 350-362, December.
  3. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  4. Smith Trenton G. & Stoddard Christiana & Barnes Michael G, 2009. "Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-31, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Giorgio Brunello & Beatrice d'Hombres, 2006. "Does Body Weight affect Wages? Evidence from Europe," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0027, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  7. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:57:y:1990:i:2:p:279-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:2:p:617-650 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Mann, Stefan, 2006. "Framing Obesity in Economic Theory and Policy," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25619, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  12. Komlos, John & Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry, 2003. "Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is there a Connection?," Discussion Papers in Economics 60, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  14. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
  15. Tomas Philipson, 2001. "The world-wide growth in obesity: an economic research agenda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
  16. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
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