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Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps Between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis

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  • Joan Costa-Font
  • Daniele Fabbri
  • Joan Gil

Abstract

Wide cross-country variation in obesity rates have been reported within European Union member states. However, health production determinants for these differences have been largely overlooked in the health economics literature. In this paper we propose a methodology for conducting standardized cross-country comparisons in BMI. The method we adopt is based on the estimation of the marginal density function of BMI in a given country implied by different counterfactual distributions of all the covariates included within a quantile regression framework. We apply our method to the analysis of the variation in BMI distribution in Spain with respect to Italy in the year 2003. Our findings suggest that Spain-to-Italy BMI gaps are largely explained by cross-country variation in the returns to each health input. Therefore, there appear to be differences in the country-specific behavioural responses to the caloric (im)balance.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2008-11.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2008-11

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2010-41 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. L. Pieroni & D. Lanari & L. Salmasi, 2013. "Food prices and overweight patterns in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 133-151, February.
  4. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2014. "Income inequalities in unhealthy life styles in England and Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 66-75.
  5. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," MPRA Paper 26434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Dodd, Mark C., 2014. "Intertemporal discounting as a risk factor for high BMI: Evidence from Australia, 2008," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 83-97.
  7. 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, Lund University, Department of Economics 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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