Skip to main content

Obesity and labor market outcomes in post-Soviet Russia


Huffman, Sonya K. & Rizov, Marian (2010). Obesity and labor market outcomes in post-Soviet Russia.


The goal of this paper is to estimate the impacts of obesity on employment, wages and missed work due to illness for Russian adults by gender in order to better understand the mechanisms through which obesity affects employment, wages and sick-leave days. This study extends the literature on the relationship between obesity and labor market outcomes, measured as employment, wages, and sick-leave days in ‘transition’ economies by using recent panel data 1994-2005 from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) and provides the first empirical evidence from Russia. We also consider the reverse causality from wages to obesity (where hi gher wage may lead to lower BMI) and the possibility that obesity may be an endogenous variable. We employ econometric techniques to control for potential biases due to endogeneity and reverse causality. To determine whether obesity reduces the employment and wages we estimate various labor and wage model specifications, including fixed-effect models to control for unobservable heterogeneity. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The next section discusses current evidence on the relationships between obesity and employment, wage and missed work due to illness. Following is a section on methodology and data for the analysis. And finally, results are discussed and conclusions drown.


Reference Type

Conference Paper

Year Published



Huffman, Sonya K.
Rizov, Marian