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Body Size, Skills, and Income: Evidence From 150,000 Teenage Siblings
Centre for Economic Demography, and HEP, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare.
Centre for Economic Demography, and HEP, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Demography, ISSN 0070-3370, E-ISSN 1533-7790, Vol. 51, no 5, 1573-1596 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We provide new evidence on the long-run labor market penalty of teenage overweight and obesity using unique and large-scale data on 150,000 male siblings from the Swedish military enlistment. Our empirical analysis provides four important results. First, we provide the first evidence of a large adult male labor market penalty for being overweight or obese as a teenager. Second, we replicate this result using data from the United States and the United Kingdom. Third, we note a strikingly strong within-family relationship between body size and cognitive skills/noncognitive skills. Fourth, a large part of the estimated body-size penalty reflects lower skill acquisition among overweight and obese teenagers. Taken together, these results reinforce the importance of policy combating early-life obesity in order to reduce healthcare expenditures as well as poverty and inequalities later in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 51, no 5, 1573-1596 p.
Keyword [en]
Obesity, Overweight, Discrimination, Earnings, Skills
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25539DOI: 10.1007/s13524-014-0325-6ISI: 000344321900001PubMedID: 25199549Scopus ID: s2.0-84909992900OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25539DiVA: diva2:777370
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved

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