The Effect of Exercise on Earnings: Evidence from the NLSY
Journal of Labor Research, June 2012
Posted: 21 May 2010 Last revised: 17 Apr 2013
Date Written: June 23, 2011
This paper investigates whether engaging in regular exercise leads to higher earnings in the labor market. While there has been a recent surge of interest by economists on the issue of obesity, relatively little attention has been given to the economic effects of regular physical activity apart from its impact on body composition. I find that engaging in frequent exercise is associated with a five to ten percent wage increase. This finding is fairly robust to a variety of estimation techniques, including propensity score matching and is not due to reverse causality.
Keywords: exercise, earnings, obesity, propensity score matching
JEL Classification: I19, J21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation