Monday, June 22, 2009

Fat, White Women with Low Self-Esteem Earn Less

NBER working paper finds that there is a wage penalty for being obese for both black and white women. According to the paper, "men's wages are not impacted by their body weight". The study examines the effect of obesity on self-esteem and finds that self-esteem impacts wages for whites (both men and women). The results of this study find that that obesity has the most serious impact on white women's wages, because of both the direct negative effect of obesity on wage and the indirect effect on self-esteem.

In other words, fat black people incur a wage penalty for obesity but not for "feeling bad" about being fat. Black people's change in self-confidence as a result of obesity does not economically affect their wage. White people, especially women, experience a wage penalty for being fat and for the effects being fat have on self-esteem.


Matt E. Ryan said...

It's like you're preparing for a class in Labor Econ! ;) said...

Thanks so much for your post, pretty useful information.

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