Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Lam says tightening global labor market good for American workers

Johnston says e-cigs may reverse two-decades of progress on smoking reduction

Mueller-Smith finds incarceration increases the likelihood of committing more, and more serious, crimes

Highlights

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Elizabeth Bruch wins ASA award for paper in mathematical sociology

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags will be back fall 2015


Direct and indirect effects of body weight on adult wages

Publication Abstract

Hannum, Emily, Edward Norton, and Lisa M. Powell. 2011. "Direct and indirect effects of body weight on adult wages." Economics & Human Biology, 9(4): 381-392.

Previous estimates of the association between body weight and wages in the literature have been conditional on education and occupation. In addition to the effect of current body weight status (body mass index (BMI) or obesity) on wages, this paper examines the indirect effect of body weight status in the late-teenage years on wages operating through education and occupation choice. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data, for women, we find that a one-unit increase in BMI is directly associated with 1.83% lower hourly wages whereas the indirect BMI wage penalty is not statistically significant. Neither a direct nor an indirect BMI wage penalty is found for men. However, results based on clinical weight classification reveal that the indirect wage penalty occurs to a larger extent at the upper tail of the BMI distribution for both men and women via the pathways of education and occupation outcomes. Late-teen obesity is indirectly associated with 3.5% lower hourly wages for both women and men. These results are important because they imply that the total effect of obesity on wages is significantly larger than has been estimated in previous cross-sectional studies. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.ehb.2011.07.002 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next