Indebted and Overweight: The Link Between Weight and Household Debt
AbstractThere is a substantial correlation between household debt and bodyweight. Theory suggests that a causal relationship between debt and bodyweight could run in either direction or both could be caused by unobserved common factors. We use OLS and Propensity Score Matching to ascertain if household debt (measured by credit card indebtedness and having trouble paying bills) is a potential cause of obesity. We find a strong positive correlation between debt and weight for women but this seems driven largely by unobservables. In contrast, men with trouble paying their bills are thinner and this is robust to various specification checks.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6898.
Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economics and Human Biology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2013.12.004
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2012-10-20 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2012-10-20 (Health Economics)
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