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Econ Hum Biol. 2008 Dec;6(3):305-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2008.06.007. Epub 2008 Jul 4.

Are employers discriminating with respect to weight? European Evidence using Quantile Regression.

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University of Rome Tor Vergata, CEIS Tor Vergata and CHILD, Italy.


The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between obesity and wages, using data for nine countries from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) over the period 1998-2001. We improve upon the existing literature by adopting a Quantile Regression approach to characterize the heterogenous impact of obesity at different points of the wage distribution. Our results show that (i) the evidence obtained from mean regression and pooled analysis hides a significant amount of heterogeneity as the relationship between obesity and wages differs across countries and wages quantiles and (ii) cultural, environmental or institutional settings do not seem to be able to explain differences among countries, leaving room for a pure discriminatory effect hypothesis.

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