Search Results

Author: Stearns, Sally C.
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Han, Euna
Norton, Edward C.
Stearns, Sally C.
Weight and Wages: Fat Versus Lean Paychecks
Health Economics 18,5 (May 2009): 535-548.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Wiley Online
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Discrimination, Body weight; Economics of Discrimination; Obesity; Occupations; Racial Differences; Wage Effects; Weight

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Past empirical work has shown a negative relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and wages in most cases. We improve on this work by allowing the marginal effect of non-linear BMI groups to vary by gender, age, and type of interpersonal relationships required in each occupation. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (1982-1998). We find that the often-reported negative relationship between the BMI and wages is larger in occupations requiring interpersonal skills with presumably more social interactions. Also, the wage penalty increases as the respondents get older beyond their mid-twenties. We show that being overweight and obese penalizes the probability of employment across all race-gender subgroups except black women and men. Our results for the obesity-wage association can be explained by either consumers or employers having distaste for obese workers. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Bibliography Citation
Han, Euna, Edward C. Norton and Sally C. Stearns. "Weight and Wages: Fat Versus Lean Paychecks." Health Economics 18,5 (May 2009): 535-548.