We quantify the life-cycle effects of human and health capital on the wage distribution of women, with a focus on health capital measured by body mass. We use NLSY79 data on women followed annually up to twenty years during the time of their lives when average annual weight gain is greatest. We measure the wage impact of current body mass (i.e., the contemporaneous or direct effect) while controlling for observed measures of human capital (namely, educational attainment, employment experience, marital status tenure, and family size) and the impacts of an evolving body mass (i.e., the dynamic or indirect effects) on the endogenous histories of behaviors that produce these human capital stocks. We find significant differences in the contemporaneous and dynamic effects of body mass on wages by age, by race, and by wage level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics