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Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?

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  • Webbink, Dinand
  • Martin, Nicholas G.
  • Visscher, Peter M.
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    Abstract

    The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing rapidly in many countries. Education policies might be important for reducing this increase. This paper analyses the causal effect of education on the probability of being overweight by using longitudinal data of Australian identical twins. The data include self-reported and clinical measures of body size. Our cross-sectional estimates confirm the well-known negative association between education and the probability of being overweight. For men we find that education also reduces the probability of being overweight within pairs of identical twins. The estimated effect of education on overweight status increases with age. Remarkably, for women we find no negative effect of education on body size when fixed family effects are taken into account. Identical twin sisters who differ in educational attainment do not systematically differ in body size. Peer effects within pairs of identical twin sisters might play a role.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 29-38

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:29-38

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

    Related research

    Keywords: Education Overweight Body size;

    References

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    1. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," Working Papers 200718, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Petter Lundborg; & Carl Hampus Lyttkens; & Paul Nystedt;, 2012. "Human capital and longevity. Evidence from 50,000 twins," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/19, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2010. "College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors," Emory Economics 1007, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    3. Vani S. Kulkarni & Veena S. Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha, 2013. "Double burden of malnutrition: Why are Indian women likely to be underweight and obese?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 19013, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    4. Tubeuf, Sandy & Jusot, Florence & Bricard, Damien, 2012. "Mediating role of education and lifestyles in the relationship between early-life conditions and health : evidence from the 1958 British cohort," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/9292, Paris Dauphine University.
    5. Aysit Tansel & Deniz Karaoglan, 2014. "Health Behaviors and Education in Turkey," ERC Working Papers 1406, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jun 2014.
    6. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2010. "The Long-run Health Returns to College Quality," Emory Economics 1011, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    7. Böckerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2013. "Stature and life-time labor market outcomes: Accounting for unobserved differences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 86-96.
    8. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    9. Fletcher, Jason M. & Frisvold, David E., 2011. "College selectivity and young adult health behaviors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 826-837, October.
    10. Petter Lundborg, 2013. "The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 673-701, April.
    11. Nakamura, R.;, 2012. "Intergenerational effect of schooling and childhood overweight," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    12. Marcel GERARD & Silke UEBELMESSER, 2014. "Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    13. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & de Wolf, Inge, 2013. "The effects of medical school on health outcomes: Evidence from admission lotteries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 698-707.
    14. Marcel Gérard & Silke Uebelmesser, 2013. "Globalization and Access to Higher Education – Policy Implications," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 03-10, 07.
    15. Amin, Vikesh & Behrman, Jere R. & Spector, Tim D., 2013. "Does more schooling improve health outcomes and health related behaviors? Evidence from U.K. twins," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 134-148.
    16. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.

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