NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Obesity, Self-esteem and Wages

Naci H. Mocan, Erdal Tekin

NBER Working Paper No. 15101
Issued in June 2009
NBER Program(s):   HE

Obesity is associated with serious health problems, and it can generate adverse economic outcomes. We analyze a nationally-representative sample of young American adults to investigate the interplay between obesity, wages and self-esteem. Wages can be impacted directly by obesity, and they can be influenced by obesity indirectly through the channel of obesity to self-esteem to wages. We find that female wages are directly influenced by body weight, and self-esteem has an impact on wages in case of whites. Being overweight or obese has a negative impact on the self-esteem of females and of black males. The results suggest that obesity has the most significant impact on white women’s wages.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15101

Published: Obesity, Self-Esteem and Wages, Naci Mocan, Erdal Tekin. in Economic Aspects of Obesity, Grossman and Mocan. 2011

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