The Impact of Overweight and Obesity on Unemployment Duration Among Young American Workers

36 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2022

See all articles by Jeremy Groves

Jeremy Groves

Northern Illinois University

Virginia Wilcox

Northern Illinois University - Department of Economics

Abstract

Obesity has a profound effect on the working careers of Americans. Prior studies pertaining to workers in other countries report that obese women experienced longer spells of unemployment than normal weight peers. However, the effect of obesity on unemployment duration has not been studies for American workers. To address this gap in the literature, we report estimates of the effects of overweight and obesity from a proportional hazards model of unemployment duration that controls for unobserved individual characteristics. Using a data sample of young workers drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997), our findings indicate that, on average, overweight and obese job seekers experienced significantly longer spells of unemployment. The effects differed by race and sex: Women experienced longer spells across body mass index (BMI) groups and Black women had longer unemployment spells compared to White women in similar BMI groups. In contrast, BMI caused no impact on the duration of unemployment spells among men nor for Hispanic workers of either sex.

Keywords: obesity, unemployment duration, gender differences, hazard rate models

Suggested Citation

Groves, Jeremy and Wilcox, Virginia, The Impact of Overweight and Obesity on Unemployment Duration Among Young American Workers. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4205760

Jeremy Groves

Northern Illinois University ( email )

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
United States

Virginia Wilcox (Contact Author)

Northern Illinois University - Department of Economics ( email )

DeKalb, IL 60115
United States
815-752-6957 (Phone)
815-752-1019 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
103
Abstract Views
352
Rank
483,767
PlumX Metrics