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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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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. Cawley, John & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2008. "Obesity and skill attainment in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 388-397, December.
  2. Geronimus, Arline T & Korenman, Sanders, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-214, November.
  3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
  4. 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.
  5. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2009. "The growth of obesity and technological change," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-293, December.
  6. 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.
  7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Lingxin Hao & V.Joseph Hotz & GingerZ. Jin, 2008. "Games Parents and Adolescents Play: Risky Behaviour, Parental Reputation and Strategic Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 515-555, 04.
  12. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  13. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
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