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Effects of urban sprawl on obesity

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  • Zhao, Zhenxiang
  • Kaestner, Robert

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of changes in population density--urban sprawl--between 1970 and 2000 on BMI and obesity of residents in metropolitan areas in the U.S. We address the possible endogeneity of population density by using a two-step instrumental variables approach. We exploit the plausibly exogenous variation in population density caused by the expansion of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, which largely followed the original 1947 plan for the Interstate Highway System. We find a negative association between population density and obesity, and estimates are robust across a wide range of specifications. Estimates indicate that if the average metropolitan area had not experienced the decline in the proportion of population living in dense areas over the last 30 years, the rate of obesity would have been reduced by approximately 13%.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 779-787

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:779-787

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

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Keywords: Obesity Urban sprawl;

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References

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  1. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
  2. James W. Hardin, 2002. "The robust variance estimator for two-stage models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(3), pages 253-266, August.
  3. Stafford, Mai & Cummins, Steven & Ellaway, Anne & Sacker, Amanda & Wiggins, Richard D. & Macintyre, Sally, 2007. "Pathways to obesity: Identifying local, modifiable determinants of physical activity and diet," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(9), pages 1882-1897, November.
  4. Eid, Jean & Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A, 2007. "Fat City: Questioning the Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6191, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Andrew J. Plantinga & Stephanie Bernell, 2007. "The Association Between Urban Sprawl And Obesity: Is It A Two-Way Street?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 857-879.
  6. Beydoun, May A. & Powell, Lisa M. & Wang, Youfa, 2008. "The association of fast food, fruit and vegetable prices with dietary intakes among US adults: Is there modification by family income?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2218-2229, June.
  7. Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
  8. James W. Hardin & Raymond J. Carroll, 2003. "Variance estimation for the instrumental variables approach to measurement error in generalized linear models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(4), pages 342-350, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2008. "Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity," Working Papers 09-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2009.
  2. Kapinos, Kandice A. & Yakusheva, Olga & Eisenberg, Daniel, 2014. "Obesogenic environmental influences on young adults: Evidence from college dormitory assignments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 98-109.
  3. Grafova, Irina B. & Freedman, Vicki A. & Lurie, Nicole & Kumar, Rizie & Rogowski, Jeannette, 2014. "The difference-in-difference method: Assessing the selection bias in the effects of neighborhood environment on health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 20-33.
  4. Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Obesity"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 1-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Charles J. Courtemanche & Garth Heutel & Patrick McAlvanah, 2011. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carlin, Paul S. & Kidd, Michael P. & Ulubaşoğlu, Mehmet A., 2013. "Does legal heritage affect obesity? The channel of motor vehicle dependence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 621-633.
  7. Matthew, Salois, 2010. "Obesity and Diabetes, the Built Environment, and the ‘Local’ Food Economy," MPRA Paper 27945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. George Wehby & Charles J. Courtemanche, 2012. "The Heterogeneity of the Cigarette Price Effect on Body Mass Index," NBER Working Papers 18087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Berning, Joshua P., 2012. "Access to Local Agriculture and Weight Outcomes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(1), April.
  10. Papoutsi, Georgia & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2011. "The causes of childhood obesity: A survey," MPRA Paper 30992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Henry Saffer & Dhaval M. Dave & Michael Grossman, 2011. "Racial, Ethnic and Gender Differences in Physical Activity," NBER Working Papers 17413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:zwi:journl:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:57-71 is not listed on IDEAS

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