Wang-Sheng Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Deakin University. Wang received his B.A. from Colby, his M.A. from Michigan and his Ph.D from Melbourne. Before moving to Australia, he was a senior analyst at Abt Associates Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland (USA) involved in analyzing the experimental welfare reform evaluations for the states of Delaware and Indiana. His research interests include program evaluation techniques, health and labour economics, happiness economics and obesity.

He has published papers in journals such as Demography, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Oxford Economic Papers, Economics Letters, Health Economics, Empirical Economics, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Economic Psychology, and Journal of Population Economics. He is the recipient of the 2012/2013 Lawrence R. Klein Award from Empirical Economics, a biannual prize awarded for the best paper published in the journal.

He joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in August 2008 and became a Research Fellow in December 2011.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10863
forthcoming in: Journal of Population Economics, 2017

We investigate how the marital age gap affects the evolution of marital satisfaction over the duration of marriage using household panel data from Australia. We find that men tend to be more satisfied with younger wives and less satisfied with older wives. Interestingly, women likewise tend to be more satisfied...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9397
Published in: Social Indicators Research Vol. 132(1), 117-136 [Details & Download]

In general, the happiness literature has paid little attention to the relationship between physical appearance and well-being. In this paper, we examine the link between weight, height and well-being for three distinct samples in China given that attractiveness effects likely vary greatly across sociocultural contexts. As China has recently undergone...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8637
revised version published as 'Body Fatness Charts Based on BMI and Waist Circumference" in: Obesity, 2016, 24 (1), 245–249

The most widely used measure of adiposity is to express weight adjusted for height using the body mass index (BMI). However, its limitations such as its inability to distinguish muscle weight from fat weight are well known, leading public health authorities in the UK and US to recommend measuring waist...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8606
substantially revised version published as 'Big and Tall: Does a Height Premium Dwarf an Obesity Penalty in the Labor Market?' in: Economics and Human Biology (forthcoming)

Previous studies have shown that both height and weight are associated with wages. However, by focusing on interpreting the partial effects of either height or weight on wages while holding all else constant, some gaps in our understanding of the complex relationship between body size and wages remain. Utilizing a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8305
substantially revised version published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2017, 136, 161-173.

This paper focuses on re-examining the gender wage gap and the potential role that reservation wages play. Based on two waves of rich data from the IZA Evaluation Dataset Survey we examine the importance of gender differences in reservation wages to explain the gender gap in realized wages for a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7685
published in: Journal of Economic Psychology, 2013, 39, 287-300

Previous empirical work on corruption has generally been cross-country in nature and focused on utilizing country-level corruption ratings. By using micro-level data for over 20 European countries that directly measure individual characteristics, corruption experiences, gender roles, trust and values to examine the determinants of corruption, this paper goes beyond the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6675
published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (1), 32-54

Promotions ordinarily involve higher wages and greater privileges; but they also often involve increased responsibility, accountability and work hours. Therefore, whether promotions are good for workers' wellbeing is an empirical question. Using high-quality panel data we estimate pre- and post-promotion effects on job attributes, physical health, mental health and life...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6210
revised version published as 'Height, Ageing and Cognitive Abilities across Europe' in: Economics and Human Biology, [Online Version]

Previous research has found that height is correlated with cognitive functioning at older ages. It therefore makes sense to ask a related question: do people from countries where the average person is relatively tall have superior cognitive abilities on average? Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5970
published in: Industrial Relations, 2012, 51 (1), 128 - 151

An explanation for the gender wage gap is that women are less able or less willing to 'climb the job ladder.' However, the empirical evidence on gender differences in job mobility has been mixed. Focusing on a subsample of younger, university-educated workers from an Australian longitudinal survey, we find strong...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5841
published in: Demography, 2011, 48 (4), 1429-1450

There exists remarkably large differences in body weights and obesity prevalence between black and white women in the US, and crucially these differences are a significant contributor to black-white inequalities in health. In this paper, we investigate the most proximal explanations for the weight gap, namely differences in diet and...