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Obesity and labor market in Peru

Nuñez, Roy (2020): Obesity and labor market in Peru.

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Obesity is a problem that affects not only developing countries, but also middle-income countries. Using anthropometric and socioeconomic information, I analyzed the relationship between obesity and employment and wages in Peru, a country that has shown rapid economic growth in the last decade. The results show that an increase in the body mass index (BMI) has a negative relationship with the probability of women working (-0.3 percentage points, on average), particularly among married women and those living in urban areas. In the case of men, no statistically significant relationship is observed. Regarding monthly wages, an increase in BMI is associated with a 0.8% reduction in women's wages (US$ 2.3, on average). This effect is seen in the upper part of the wages distribution and among those who are in the BMI obesity range. In the case of men, the effect is positive and significant (additional US$ 4.5, on average) in most of the subgroups analyzed. These results are similar to those observed in the international literature.

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