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The Causal Effect of Education on Body Mass: Evidence from Europe

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  • Giorgio Brunello
  • Daniele Fabbri
  • Margherita Fort

Abstract

We adopt a multi-country setup to show that years of schooling have a causal protective effect on the body mass index of females living in nine European countries. No such effect is found for males. The protective effect for European females is not negligible but is smaller than one recently found for the United States and stronger among overweight females. We discuss possible mechanisms justifying both the protective role of education and the gender difference in this role. We argue that the effects of additional schooling on income, the probability of employment, and the frequency of vigorous physical activities, both on and off the job, may help explain our results.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/667236
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 195 - 223

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/667236

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Aysit Tansel & Deniz Karaoglan, 2014. "Health Behaviors and Education in Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1414, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  2. Giorgio Brunello & Maria De Paola & Giovanna Labartino, 2012. "More Apples Less Chips? The Effect of School Fruit Schemes on the Consumption of Junk Food," ISER Discussion Paper 0840, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Nicole Schneeweis & Vegard Skirbekk & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Does schooling improve cognitive functioning at older ages?," NRN working papers 2012-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to Education Over the Wage Distribution: Who Profits the Most?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0091, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  5. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2011. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," MEA discussion paper series 11245, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Pieroni, L. & Salmasi, L., 2014. "Fast-food consumption and body weight. Evidence from the UK," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 94-105.
  7. Laura Crespo & Borja López-Nodal & Pedro Mira, 2013. "Compulsory Schooling, Education And Mental Health: New Evidence From Sharelife," Working Papers wp2013_1304, CEMFI.
  8. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Weber, Guglielmo & Weiss, Christoph T., 2013. "Testing the Internal Validity of Compulsory School Reforms as Instrument for Years of Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 7533, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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