Impact of body mass on job quality

Tae Hyun Kim, Euna Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The current study explores the association between body mass and job quality, a composite measurement of job characteristics, for adults. We use nationally representative data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study for the years 2005, 2007, and 2008 with 7282 person-year observations for men and 4611 for women. A Quality of Work Index (QWI) is calculated based on work content, job security, the possibilities for improvement, compensation, work conditions, and interpersonal relationships at work. The key independent variable is the body mass index (kg/m2) splined at 18.5, 25, and 30. For men, BMI is positively associated with the QWI only in the normal weight segment (+0.19 percentage points at the 10th, +0.28 at the 50th, +0.32 at the 75th, +0.34 at the 90th, and +0.48 at the 95th quantiles). A unit increase in the BMI for women is associated with a lower QWI at the lower quantiles in the normal weight segment (-0.28 at the 5th, -0.19 at the 10th, and -0.25 percentage points at the 25th quantiles) and at the upper quantiles in the overweight segment (-1.15 at the 90th and -1.66 percentage points at the 95th quantiles). The results imply a spill-over cost of overweight or obesity beyond its impact on health in terms of success in the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research support from the Korea National Research Foundation ( NRF-2014049984 ) is gratefully acknowledged. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the Korea National Research Foundation. The Korea National Research Foundation had no involvement in preparation and submission of this manuscript. All authors have no conflict of interest to disclose. Heejo Ku provided excellent research assistance regarding data management for this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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