Working part-time and full-time and body weight in old age

Effects and mechanisms


We investigate whether working part-time and full-time instead of retirement affect body weight in old age. To avoid the potential bias that carrying more body weight can cause employees to work fewer hours, retirement eligibility ages, job characteristics, and gender are used as instruments for part-time or full-time work decisions. We find that both working part-time and full-time reduce body weight, but working part-time has a much larger effect. The findings are specific to women. We analyze time use data to investigate how working part-time leads to lower body weight among women. We find that while working part-time, women spend substantially less time on two activities that demand the least amount of metabolic energy when compared to all other activities: watching television and sleeping.

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