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Journal Article

Marriage, BMI, and wages: a double selection approach


Publication date



Obesity rates have been rising over the past decade. As more people
become obese, the social stigma of obesity may be reduced. Marriage has
typically been used as a positive signal to employers. If obese
individuals possess other characteristics that are valued in the labour
market they may no longer face a wage penalty for their physical
appearance. This paper investigates the relationship between marital
status, body mass index (BMI), and wages by estimating a double
selection model that controls for selection into the labour and marriage
markets using waves 14 and 16 (2004 and 2006) of the British Household
Panel Survey. Results suggest that unobserved characteristics related to
marriage and labour market participation are causing an upward bias
onthe BMI coefficients. The BMI coefficient is positive and significant
for married men only in the double selection model. The findings provide
evidence that unobserved characteristics related to success in the
marriage and labour market may influence the relationship between BMI
and wages.

Published in

Scottish Journal of Political Economy

Volume and page numbers

58 , 347 -377





Labour Market, Family Formation And Dissolution, Wages And Earnings, and Social Psychology



Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


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