NBER Working Papers by Euna Han

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July 2016Disentangling the Contemporaneous and Dynamic Effects of Human and Health Capital on Wages over the Life Cycle
with Donna B. Gilleskie, Edward C. Norton: w22430
In this study we quantify the life-cycle effects of human and health capital on the wage distribution of females, with a focus on health measured by body mass. We use NLSY79 data on women followed annually up to twenty years during the time of their lives when average annual weight gain is greatest. We allow body mass to explain variation in wages contemporaneously conditional on observed measures of human capital and productivity histories (namely, education, employment experience, marital status, and family size) and dynamically over the life cycle through its impact on the endogenous histories of behaviors that determine wages. We find significant differences in the contemporaneous effect and the dynamic effect of body mass on wages, both across females of different races and over the d...
June 2009Direct and Indirect Effects of Teenage Body Weight on Adult Wages
with Edward C. Norton, Lisa M. Powell: w15027
Previous estimates on the association between body weight and wages in the literature have been contingent on education and occupation. This paper examines the direct effect of BMI on wages and the indirect effects operating through education and occupation choice, particularly for late-teen BMI and adult wages. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data, we show that education is the main pathway for the indirect BMI wage penalty. The total BMI wage penalty is underestimated by 18% for women without including those indirect effects. Whereas for men there is no statistically significant direct BMI wage penalty, we do observe a small indirect wage penalty through education.

Published: Econ Hum Biol. 2011 Dec;9(4):381-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.07.002. Epub 2011 Jul 19. Direct and indirect effects of body weight on adult wages. Han E, Norton EC, Powell LM.

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