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Cycling: An Increasingly Untouched Source of Physical and Mental Health

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  • Inas Rashad

Abstract

Cost savings associated with increased gasoline prices and lower levels of urban sprawl have been cited in terms of personal savings, environmental awareness, reduced costs through lower travel times and congestion, and reduced income inequality. Cost savings in terms of improved health, however, are often not cited yet represent another dimension of savings associated with reduced urban sprawl and gas prices. Cycling is a form of exercise that can also be used as a mode of transportation if the surrounding environment facilitates such use. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 73 percent of adults want new bicycle facilities such as bike lanes, trails, and traffic signals. Using data from the 1990, 1995, and 2001 waves of the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, in addition to data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1996-2000), I propose to analyze the effects of variations in the built environment in the form of urban sprawl and in real gasoline prices on cycling as a form of physical activity. Using bivariate probit and propensity score methods, I show how cycling can lead to improved physical health outcomes. This is turn may carry policy implications in terms of improved public awareness and city planning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12929.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12929

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  1. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
  2. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
  3. Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman & Shin-Yi Chou, 2006. "The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 133-148, Winter.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
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  6. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  7. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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Cited by:
  1. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
  2. Michael Lechner, 2008. "Long-Run Labour Market Effects of Individual Sports Activities," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 114, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 839-854, July.
  4. Steinmayr, Andreas & Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael, 2011. "The closer the sportier? Children's sport activity and their distance to sport facilities," Economics Working Paper Series 1104, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Cross-Country Gaps in Obesity and Overweight: Does the Social Environment Matter?," Working Papers in Economics, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia 205, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  6. Chung-Ping Loh, 2009. "Physical inactivity and working hour inflexibility: evidence from a U.S. sample of older men," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 257-281, September.
  7. Hyytinen, Ari & Lahtonen, Jukka, 2013. "The effect of physical activity on long-term income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 129-137.

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