Marriage, BMI, and Wages: A Double Selection Approach

Heather Wendy Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 on the 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-377
Number of pages31
JournalScottish Journal of Political Economy
Volume58
Issue number3
Early online date21 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • BMI
  • marriage
  • double selection

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