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Within-family variation in obesity

  • Price, Joseph
  • Swigert, Jeffrey

We use data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to document the degree to which childhood obesity varies among siblings. We find considerable differences in body weight between siblings with over half of the siblings differing by more than 20 age-specific percentiles in terms of the body mass index. Even among identical twins, there is an average BMI difference of 12 percentiles. This variation is important for the use of econometric approaches that involve sibling comparisons.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X1200069X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 333-339

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:333-339
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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  1. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Conley, Dalton & Strully, Kate W. & Bennett, Neil G., 2006. "Twin differences in birth weight: The effects of genotype and prenatal environment on neonatal and post-neonatal mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 151-183, June.
  3. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2007. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children: Does Timing Matter?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/180, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  5. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
  6. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  7. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lynn Lethbridge & Lars Osberg, 2004. "Measuring Obesity in Young Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(4), pages 349-364, December.
  8. Cawley, John & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2008. "Obesity and skill attainment in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 388-397, December.
  9. John Cawley & Chad Meyerhoefer, 2010. "The Medical Care Costs of Obesity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," NBER Working Papers 16467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Crossman, Ashley & Anne Sullivan, Deborah & Benin, Mary, 2006. "The family environment and American adolescents' risk of obesity as young adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2255-2267, November.
  11. Lingxin Hao & V. Joseph Hotz & Ginger Z. Jin, 2005. "Games Parents and Adolescents Play: Risky Behaviors, Parental Reputation, and Strategic Transfers," NBER Working Papers 11872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  13. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2009. "The growth of obesity and technological change," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-293, December.
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