Effects of smoking and being overweight on current earnings

J Paul Leigh, M. C. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Medical researchers have demonstrated the potent influences of smoking and being overweight on the deterioration of health. Economists have documented the sizable impact of poor health on earnings. We looked for statistical associations between smoking and being overweight on the one hand and current earnings on the other using a national probability sample of American workers employed 20 or more hours a week. Using multiple regressions that included a variety of control variables, for both male and female workers no strong statistical associations could be found. These results should not be interpreted as suggesting that smoking and being overweight do not have profound influences on lifetime earnings through their effects on health. The results suggest only that among workers currently employed 20 hours or more a week, no residual short-run direct association exists between smoking or being overweight and current annual earnings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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