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Estimation of a dynamic model of weight

  • Shu Ng


  • Edward Norton


  • David Guilkey


  • Barry Popkin


The ongoing debate about the economic causes of obesity has focused on the changing relative prices of diet and exercise. This paper uses a model that explicitly includes time and spatially varying community-level urbanicity and price measures as instruments to obtain statistically correct measures for the endogenous effects of diet, physical activity, drinking, and smoking on weight. We apply a dynamic panel system GMM estimation model to longitudinal (1991-2006) data from China to model weight and find that among adult men in China, about 6.1% of weight gain was due to declines in physical activity and 2.9-3.8% was due to dietary changes over this period. In the long run, physical activity can account for around 6.9% of weight gain, while diet can account for 3.2-4.2% of weight gain.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirical Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 413-443

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Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:42:y:2012:i:2:p:413-443
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  28. Ng, Shu Wen & Norton, Edward C. & Popkin, Barry M., 2009. "Why have physical activity levels declined among Chinese adults? Findings from the 1991-2006 China health and nutrition surveys," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1305-1314, April.
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