The purpose of this research is to explore and explain the link between obesity and wages. Obesity may lower wages due to three theories. The first is that being obese may lower ones health capital, in turn lowering human capital and finally lowering wages. The second is that obese workers are being discriminated against in the workplace. The final reason I will discuss is that obese workers increase the insurance costs of firms, and these firms then transfer these costs to the obese workers in the form of lower wages. I will test these theories using regression analysis utilizing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. My findings indicate that insurance does not play a large role in the reduction of wages, therefore the wage gap is either due to discrimination or lower productivity.


Burnell, Barbara



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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