Obesity, occupational attainment, and earnings

José A. Pagán, Alberto Dávila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. This study contributes to the study of the relationship between obesity, occupational attainment, and earnings. Methods. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we utilize a multinomial logit specification to investigate the occupational selection of obese individuals. We then estimate earnings functions that account for the occupational attainment of the overweight. Results. We find that women pay a penalty for being obese, but overweight males, via occupational mobility, sort themselves into jobs to offset this penalty. Conclusions. Weight-related occupational sorting of males may be the outcome of the low barriers they face when moving across occupations. The occupational segregation found for obese women, however, may be mostly rooted in labor market discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-770
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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