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Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment

In: Economic Aspects of Obesity

  • Robert Kaestner
  • Michael Grossman
  • Benjamin Yarnoff

In this paper, we investigate the association between weight and adolescent's educational attainment, as measured by highest grade attended, highest grade completed, and drop out status. Data for the study came from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), which contains a large, national sample of teens between the ages of 14 and 18. We obtained estimates of the association between weight and educational attainment using several regression model specifications that controlled for a variety of observed characteristics. Our results suggest that, in general, teens that are overweight or obese have levels of attainment that are about the same as teens with average weight.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Economic Aspects of Obesity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros09-1, 07.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11823.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11823
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
    3. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
    4. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    5. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
    6. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
    7. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School and Racial Test Score Gaps," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    8. Robert A. Shakotko & Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1980. "An Exploration of the Dynamic Relationship between Health and Cognitive Development in Adolescence," NBER Working Papers 0454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
    10. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Adolescent Health, Family Background, and Preventive Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 0398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-81, August.
    12. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
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