Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Matthew C. Harris

Committee Members

Matthew C. Harris, Donald J. Bruce, Marianne H Wanamaker, Russell Zaretzki


We investigate the direct and indirect effects of employment decisions on body weight. We formulate a dynamic model in which an individual makes decisions in three stages in each period. He first chooses an occupation and realizes his wage. Then he decides how to allocate money and time. As a result of his choices, his body weight updates in the last stage. Using data from PSID and U.S. Census Bureau, we estimate a joint system of equations and use a flexible error structure to account for selection on unobservables. We find that employment decisions have insignificant effects on body weight because individuals choose to compensate for changes in the workplace by adjusting their off-work food and exercise behavior.

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