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Anorexia, Body Image and Peer Effects: Evidence from a Sample of European Women

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  • Joan Costa Font
  • Mireia Jofre-Bonet

Abstract

Excessive preoccupation with self-image (or identity) is regarded as a factor contributing to the proliferation of food disorders, especially among young women. This paper models how self-image and peer effects influence health-related behaviours, specifically food disorders. We empirically test our claims using data from the European survey. Our findings suggest that the larger the peers' body-mass, the lower the likelihood of being anorexic. Self-image is correlated with body weight. We use several definitions of peers' body mass and we find that all are negatively associated with the likelihood of women being thin or extremely thin.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1098.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1098

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: self-image; identity; body image; eating disorders; anorexia; European women;

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References

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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2008. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," NBER Working Papers 14337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Joan Costa-i-Font & Joan Gil, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of childhood obesity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2014. "A Triple Test for Behavioral Economics Models and Public Health Policy," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 14-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2013. "Social Identity and Redistributive Preferences: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4440, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 29-37.
  5. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2014. "Income inequalities in unhealthy life styles in England and Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 66-75.

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