The dynamic effects of obesity on the wages of young workers

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Abstract

This paper considers effects of body mass on wages in the years following labor market entry. The preferred models allow current wages to be affected by both past and current body mass, as well as past wages, while also addressing the endogeneity of body mass. I find that a history of severe obesity has a large negative effect on the wages of white men. White women face a penalty for a history of being overweight, with some evidence of additional penalties that begin above the threshold for severe obesity. Furthermore, the effects of past wages on current wages imply that past body mass has additional, indirect effects on wages, especially for white women.

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