Are Skinny People Richer?

by Dual Income No Kids on February 28, 2009 · 0 comments


Hi All,

I was cruising the social science databases today when I came across an interesting paper on the topic of body weight and wealth. What the author, Ohio State researcher Jay Zagorsky, found was that as body weight increases, wealth declines.

Like a good scientist, Zagorsky threw the kitchen sink at his finding. He looked at a couple of different kinds of data and introduced statistical controls for income and other individual differences. After all that, Zagorsky found that individuals who lost large amounts of weight were likely to see big increases in their wealth. He also found that fatter people were less likely to get an inheritance!

So, what does all this mean? Well, its hard to say. However, the fact that he’s accounted for income suggests that social attribution bias plays a role. Social standards typically favor skinny people over obese people. So, its possible that people who are skinnier are more likely to be rewarded by parents or by businesses associates with inheritances or transactions. So, lose weight, gain wealth? You decide.

For more on Zagorsky’s research go here and here.

Best,

James

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