Smoking, Obesity, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Japan

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2018 18-E-023
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This study, using original survey data, presents evidence from Japan of the relationship between smoking and obesity on the one hand, and labor market outcomes and subjective well-being on the other hand. According to the results, first, after accounting for various individual characteristics, wages of both male and female smokers are significantly higher than those of non-smokers. This unexpected finding differs from those of past studies and general perception. In addition, the labor participation rate of smokers is higher than that of non-smokers. Second, there is a wage penalty for obesity only among male workers. This is also an unexpected finding, as many past studies have detected wage discounts for obese females. Third, smoking and obesity are associated with low life satisfaction and job satisfaction among females, but these relationships are weak among males.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (18-J-010) with some additional information and changes.