Laura Argys

  • Current position:
    Full Professor, Department of Economics, University of Colorado Denver (2006–); Associate Dean for Research
  • Research interest:
    Economic demography, health economics, labor economics
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    University of Colorado Denver, USA, and IZA, Germany
  • Qualifications:
    PhD Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1993
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    World of Labor provides policymakers and researchers access to important research to inform current policy debates. I am very pleased to be part of such an innovative initiative
  • Selected publications:
    • “Immigrants, wages and obesity.” In: Zimmermann, K. F., and A. Constant (eds). International Handbook on the Economics of Migration. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013; Ch. 13 (with S. L. Averett and J. Kohn).
    • “The links between nonmarital births and poverty.” In: Rycroft, R. (ed.). The Economics of Inequality, Poverty and Discrimination in the 21st Century. Santa Barbara, CA: ABL-CLIO-Praeger Press, 2013; Ch. 23 (with S. L. Averett).
    • “Immigration, obesity and labor market outcomes in the UK.” IZA Journal of Migration 1:1 (2012) (with S. L. Averett and J. Kohn).
    • “For better or worse: Relationship status and body mass index.” Economics and Human Biology 6:3 (2008): 330–349 (with S. L. Averett and A. Sikora).
    • “Searching for peer group effects: A test of the contagion hypothesis.” Review of Economics and Statistics 90:3 (2008): 442–458 (with D. I. Rees).
  • Articles

Consequences of the obesity epidemic for immigrants

When migrants move to countries with high obesity rates, does assimilation lead to labor market penalties and higher health care costs?

December 2015

10.15185/izawol.210 210

by Laura Argys Argys, L

Upon arrival in a host country, immigrants often have lower obesity rates (as measured for instance by BMI—body mass index) than their native counterparts do, but these rates converge over time. In light of the worldwide obesity epidemic and the flow of immigrants into host countries with higher obesity rates, it is important to understand the consequences of such assimilation. Policymakers could benefit from a discussion of the impact of immigrant obesity on labor market outcomes and the use of public services. In particular, policies could find ways to improve immigrants’ access to health care for both the prevention and treatment of obesity.