The moderation of obesity penalty on job market outcomes by employment efforts

Rosemary Ahn, Tae Hyun Kim, Euna Han

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The current study explores the moderation of the relationship between obesity and labor market outcomes by direct employment efforts such as job hunting and job training of young adults. The study used data provided by the Korean Education and Employment Panel, a longitudinal data survey comprising middle and high school students from 2004 to 2015. Two dependent variables were assessed in this study: employment status and wage. The individual-level fixed effects were controlled. Despite having more direct employment efforts of either or both experience in job hunting and job training, compared to normal-weight counterparts, underweight men and overweight and obese women were reported to have a disadvantage in both dependent variables. Underweight men with job training experience were 12.02% less likely to be employed, while overweight and obese men had 6.80 times higher monthly wages when job training experience was accompanied compared to no such experience. For overweight and obese women, compared to that of their normal-weight counterparts, employment probability decreased by 4.78% per week-increase in job hunting, by 2.81% if any experience in job hunting. For underweight women, compared to that of their normal-weight counterparts, employment probability increased by 4.56 times per week-increase in job hunting and by 5.59 times if experience in job hunting, and by 6.96% if experience in job training. The results indicate that employment efforts do not fully moderate the presence of obesity penalty for labor market outcomes on those early in their careers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2974
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 2


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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