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Evidence on the efficacy of school-based incentives for healthy living

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  • Cuffe, H.E.
  • Harbaugh, W.T.
  • Lindo, J.M.
  • Musto, G.
  • Waddell, G.R.

Abstract

We analyze the effects of a school-based program that offers children an opportunity to win prizes if they walk or bike to school during prize periods. We use daily child-level data and individual fixed effects models to measure the effect of the prizes, with variation in the timing of prize periods across different schools allowing us to estimate models with calendar-date fixed effects to control for day-specific attributes, such as weather and proximity to holidays. On average, we find that being in a prize period increases the riding behavior of participating children by sixteen percent, a large impact given that the prize value is just six cents per student. We also find that winning a prize lottery has a positive impact on ridership over subsequent weeks; consider heterogeneity across prize type, gender, age, and calendar month; and explore differential effects on the intensive versus extensive margins.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1028-1036

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1028-1036

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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Keywords: Educational economics; Health; Exercise; Children; School; Incentives; Active commuting;

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  1. Tenn, Steven & Herman, Douglas A. & Wendling, Brett, 2010. "The role of education in the production of health: An empirical analysis of smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 404-417, May.
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  3. Kaestner, Robert & Grossman, Michael, 2009. "Effects of weight on children's educational achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 651-661, December.
  4. Charness, Gary B & Gneezy, Uri, 2008. "Incentives to Exercise," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3tc3j5x7, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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  8. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2010. "Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 751-759, October.
  9. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-95, February.
  10. John Cawley & Joshua A. Price, 2011. "Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 91-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  12. Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.
  13. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2007. "The health effects of education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 186-200, April.
  14. Albouy, Valerie & Lequien, Laurent, 2009. "Does compulsory education lower mortality?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 155-168, January.
  15. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
  16. Dills, Angela K. & Morgan, Hillary N. & Rotthoff, Kurt W., 2011. "Recess, physical education, and elementary school student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 889-900, October.
  17. Hansen, Benjamin & Lang, Matthew, 2011. "Back to school blues: Seasonality of youth suicide and the academic calendar," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 850-861, October.
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