Gender, Body Mass, and Socioeconomic Status: New Evidence from the PSID

Dalton Conley, Rebecca Glauber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

89 Scopus citations


Previous research provides evidence of a negative effect of body mass on women's economic outcomes. We extend this research by using a much older sample of individuals from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and by using a body mass measure that is lagged by 15 years instead of the traditional 7 years. One of the main contributions of this paper is a replication of previous research findings given our differing samples and measures. We compare OLS estimates with sibling fixed effects estimates and find that obesity is associated with an 18% reduction in women's wages, a 25% reduction in women's family income, and a 16% reduction in women's probability of marriage. These effects are robust - they persist much longer than previously understood and they persist across the life course, affecting older women as well as younger women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Economics of Obesity
EditorsKristian Bolin, John Cawley
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAdvances in Health Economics and Health Services Research
ISSN (Print)0731-2199

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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