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Born to be wide? Exploring correlations in mother and adolescent body mass index

  • Brown, Heather
  • Roberts, Jennifer

The channels contributing to the intergenerational correlation in body mass are not well understood. A novel decomposition approach from quantitative genetics is used to estimate the contribution of maternal characteristics, household income, and adolescent behaviours on the intergenerational correlation in BMI. The analysis uses data on mothers and their adolescent children from the British Household Panel Survey. The overall intergenerational correlation in BMI is 0.25. Maternal educational attainment and adolescent participation in daily physical activity are the largest contributing factors to the intergenerational correlation in BMI. Maternal employment and high daily television viewing by the adolescent are also contributing factors. Overall, observable characteristics explain 11.2% of the intergenerational correlation in BMI.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176513002590
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 120 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 413-415

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:3:p:413-415
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Diane Whitemore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Childhood Disadvantage and Obesity: Is Nurture Trumping Nature?," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 149-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1989. "Economic and Mechanical Models of Intergenerational Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 504-13, June.
  3. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," NBER Working Papers 10691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  6. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2008. "Sibling similarities and economic inequality in the US," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 685-701, July.
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