Disentangling the Contemporaneous and Dynamic Effects of Human and Health Capital on Wages over the Life Cycle

Donna B. Gilleskie, Euna Han, Edward C. Norton

NBER Working Paper No. 22430
Issued in July 2016
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics

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 distribution of wages.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22430

Published: Donna Gilleskie & Euna Han & Edward Norton, 2017. "Disentangling the Contemporaneous and Dynamic Effects of Human and Health Capital on Wages over the Life Cycle"," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 350-383, April. citation courtesy of

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