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Schooling, health knowledge and obesity

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  • Rodolfo Nayga

Abstract

The connection between schooling and health is well documented. An important empirical issue that needs to be examined, however, is whether schooling's effects are due to individual health knowledge differences. This empirical study examines this issue with an increasingly important health indicator, obesity. Since provision of health knowledge is a major tool of public agencies promoting health, this empirical study uses a new direct measure of health knowledge to test this hypothesis. The results show that knowledge is inversely related to the probability that an individual is obese. Schooling's effects on relative weight and the probability of being obese are explained by differences in knowledge. This result may imply that schooling's effect on the allocative efficiency of the household production of health is the main reason schooling is linked to health behaviour. The result also may imply that the most effective method of health education is to highlight the disease element of poor dietary habits and health. More importantly, the simulations conducted suggest positive returns to knowledge based on improvements in the probability estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2000)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 815-822

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:7:p:815-822

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Cited by:
  1. Just, David R., 2006. "Behavioral Economics, Food Assistance, and Obesity," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 35(2), October.
  2. Vincenzo Atella & Joanna Kopinska, 2011. "Body weight of Italians: the weight of Education," CEIS Research Paper 189, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 23 Mar 2011.
  3. von Hippel, Paul T. & Lynch, Jamie L., 2014. "Why are educated adults slim—Causation or selection?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 131-139.
  4. Zhuo Chen & Steven Yen & David Eastwood, 2007. "Does smoking have a causal effect on weight reduction?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 49-67, March.
  5. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2011. "Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 862-872, October.
  6. Donald S. Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan D. Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Qian, Yiwei & Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M. & Thomsen, Michael R. & Rouse, Heather, 2013. "The Effect of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program on Childhood Obesity," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150778, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Amarasinghe, Anura & D'Souza, Gerard E. & Brown, Cheryl & Borisova, Tatiana, 2006. "The Impact of Socioeconomic and Spatial Differences on Obesity in West Virginia," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21159, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  9. Angulo, Ana Maria & Mtimet, Nadhem & Gil, Jose Maria, 2008. "Análisis de la demanda de alimentos en España considerando el impacto de la dieta sobre la salud," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(2).
  10. Robert Scharff, 2009. "Obesity and Hyperbolic Discounting: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 3-21, March.
  11. Martin, Molly A. & Frisco, Michelle L. & Nau, Claudia & Burnett, Kristin, 2012. "Social stratification and adolescent overweight in the United States: How income and educational resources matter across families and schools," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 597-606.
  12. Liu, Jin-Tan & Tsou, Meng-Wen & Hammitt, James K., 2009. "Willingness to pay for weight-control treatment," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 211-218, July.
  13. Maennig, Wolfgang & Schicht, Tobias & Sievers, Tim, 2008. "Determinants of obesity: The case of Germany," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2523-2534, December.
  14. Angulo, Ana María & Barberán, Ramón & Egea, Pilar & Mur, Jesús, 2011. "An analysis of health expenditure on a microdata population basis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 169-180, January.
  15. Loureiro, Maria L. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2005. "Obesity Rates in OECD Countries: An International Perspective," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24650, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  16. Staudigel, Matthias, 2012. "On The Application Of Household Production Theory To Health And Nutrition," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA) 137389, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  17. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Changes in compulsory schooling and the causal effect of education on health: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 340-354, March.
  18. Huang, Chung L. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2004. "Prevalence Of Childhood Overweight Among Low-Income Households," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20262, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  19. Loureiro, Maria L. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2004. "Analyzing Cross-Country Differences In Obesity Rates: Some Policy Implications," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20209, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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