women's weight & pay

Michael Perelman michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Mon Aug 14 18:19:35 PDT 2000

Daniel Hamermesh does a lot of this stuff. See

Hamermesh, Daniel S. and Jeff E. Biddle. 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market." American Economic Review, 84: 4 (December): pp. 1174-94.

Doug Henwood wrote:

> <http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7841>
> Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes
> John Cawley
> NBER Working Paper No. W7841
> Issued in August 2000
> ---- Abstract -----
> Several studies have found that, all else equal, heavier women earn
> less. Previous research has been unable to determine whether high
> weight is the cause of low wages, the result of low wages, or whether
> unobserved factors cause both higher weight and lower wages. Applying
> the method of instrumental variables to data from the National
> Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this paper attempts to generate
> consistent estimates of the effect of weight on labor market outcomes
> for women. Three labor market outcomes are studied: hourly wages,
> employment, and sector of occupation. This paper finds that weight
> lowers wages for white women; among this group, a difference in
> weight of two standard deviations (roughly sixty-five pounds) is
> associated with a difference in wages of 7%. In absolute value, this
> is equivalent to the wage effect of roughly one year of education,
> two years of job tenure, or three years of work experience. In
> contrast, this paper finds only weak evidence that weight lowers
> wages for hispanic women, and no evidence that weight lowers the
> wages of black women. This paper also concludes that there is no
> effect of weight on the probability of employment or sector of
> occupation.

-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu

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