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The Impact of Income on the Weight of Elderly Americans

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  • John Cawley
  • John R. Moran
  • Kosali I. Simon

Abstract

This paper tests whether income affects the body weight and clinical weight classification of elderly Americans using a natural experiment that led otherwise identical retirees to receive significantly different Social Security payments based on their year of birth. We exploit this natural experiment by estimating models of instrumental variables using data from the National Health Interview Surveys. The model estimates rule out even moderate effects of income on weight and on the probability of being underweight or obese, especially for men.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14104.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as Cawley, John, John Moran, and Kosali Simon. “The Impact of Income on the Weight of Elderly Americans.” Health Economics, 2010, 19(8): 979-993.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14104

Note: AG HC HE LS PE
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References

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  1. Andrew G. Biggs & Jeffrey R. Brown & Glenn Springstead, 2005. "Alternative Methods of Price Indexing Social Security: Implications for Benefits and System Financing," NBER Working Papers 11406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Jay Bhattacharya, 2005. "Welfare-Enhancing Technological Change and the Growth of Obesity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 253-257, May.
  3. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  4. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2008. "Social security and elderly homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 280-305, January.
  5. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. Schroeter, Christiane & Lusk, Jayson & Tyner, Wallace, 2008. "Determining the impact of food price and income changes on body weight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 45-68, January.
  9. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
  10. Alan Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1989. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," Working Papers 635, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Greve, Jane, 2007. "Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: New Danish Evidence," Working Papers 07-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. John R. Moran & JKosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2006. "Income and the Use of Prescription Drugs by the Elderly: Evidence from the Notch Cohorts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  13. Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber & Cynthia D. Perry, 2005. "Social Security and Elderly Living Arrangements: Evidence from the Social Security Notch," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  14. John R. Moran & Kosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2004. "Income and the Use of Prescription Drugs by the Elderly: Evidence from the Notch Cohorts," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 66, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  15. Brunello, Giorgio & D'Hombres, Beatrice, 2007. "Does body weight affect wages?: Evidence from Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
  16. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mario Schnalzenberger, 2011. "Causal effect of income on health: Investigating two closely related policy reforms in Austria," Economics working papers 2011-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. García Villar, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2009. "Income and body mass index in Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 73-83, March.
  3. Godard, Mathilde, 2013. "Gaining weight through retirement ? Results from the SHARE survey," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11535, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Tafreschi, Darjusch, 2011. "The Income Body Weight Gradients in the Developing Economy of China," Economics Working Paper Series 1140, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2009. "Fatter Attraction: Marital Status and the Relationship between BMI and Labor Supply," Working Papers 2009.116, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
  7. Dardanoni, Valentino & Modica, Salvatore & Peracchi, Franco, 2011. "Regression with imputed covariates: A generalized missing-indicator approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 162(2), pages 362-368, June.
  8. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace, 2014. "Weight perceptions, weight control and income: An analysis using British data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 132-139.
  9. Johnston, D.W.; & Lordan, G.;, 2012. "My body is fat and my wallet is thin: The link between weight perceptions, weight control and income," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11012 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Charles Courtemanche & Joshua C. Pinkston & Jay Stewart, 2014. "Adjusting Body Mass for Measurement Error with Invalid Validation Data," NBER Working Papers 19928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. PAN, Jay & QIN, Xuezheng & LIU, Gordon G., 2013. "The impact of body size on urban employment: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 249-263.
  14. Ljungvall, Åsa & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lindblad, Ulf, 2012. "Misreporting and Misclassification: Implications for Socioeconomic Disparities in Body-mass Index and Obesity," Working Papers 2012:19, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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