Friday, December 1, 2023

Obesity pay gap

I recently learned about the "obesity pay gap." I guess I did not learn about it today. I initially heard about it months ago, but was reminded now. This is one of those phenomena that I learn about and I'm like, "Oh, I already knew that!" because it is a bit intuitive. In reality, I don't think I already knew about it. Unfortunately, The Economist is going to star once again. From "The obesity pay gap is worse than previously thought": 

Your line of work makes a difference, too (see chart 2). When we crunched the numbers for individual occupations and industries, we found the greatest disparities in high-skilled jobs. Obese workers in health care, for example, make 11% less than their slimmer colleagues; those in management roles make roughly 9% less, on average. In sectors such as construction and agriculture, meanwhile, obesity is actually associated with higher wages.

There has been research showing that the obesity pay gap exists for women. The Economist points out that it also exists for men! I think that discriminating against someone for their weight is pretty ridiculous. But I think that people do it subconsciously. "Overweight? You must be stupid and lazy. Can't pick your food or go exercise." I think that this also ties into something I told you earlier about how there are very few obese people at Michigan because of the high incomes here. The "obesity pay gap" seems like it would exacerbate existing social ills. Earlier this year, I read another news piece from the Wall Street Journal, "The Hidden Career Cost of Being Overweight": 

Half of managers surveyed in a separate poll said they preferred interacting with “healthy-weight” employees, according to SHRM, the human resources professional network that conducted the surveys. 

What the hell! That's bad! We should not condone this type of behavior in civil society! 

Things happen

This section is to include things that occur or things I have read that do not fit cleanly into a the Today's Learning framework.  This well-written article (FT) discusses why a "two state solution" has not happened (and I think came to the wrong conclusion).