Peer-Effects on Childhood Obesity
This study investigates whether peers are a contributing factor in the increase in childhood obesity rates, and whether peer effects vary by race, gender and residential neighborhood. We control for the commercial food environment around schools and residence when estimating peer effects given that the food environment constitutes an important set of factors that have not been adequately measured and accounted for in previous studies. We find that the weight of peers within the same grade in a school significantly impacts body mass index (BMI) z-score of an individual student. A typical student’s BMI z-score increases when facing heavier peers and it decreases when facing lighter peers. The results show differential peer-effects across race and gender, but more so by gender than by race.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
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- Charles F. Manski, 1993.
"Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem,"
Review of Economic Studies,
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- Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Jason Fletcher, 2012. "Peer influences on adolescent alcohol consumption: evidence using an instrumental variables/fixed effect approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1265-1286, October.
- Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009.
"Weight gain in adolescents and their peers,"
Economics & Human Biology,
Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-190, July.
- Carrell, Scott E. & Hoekstra, Mark & West, James E., 2011.
"Is poor fitness contagious?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 657-663.
- Carrell, Scott E. & Hoekstra, Mark & West, James E., 2011. "Is poor fitness contagious?: Evidence from randomly assigned friends," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 657-663, August.
- Scott E. Carrell & Mark Hoekstra & James E. West, 2010. "Is Poor Fitness Contagious? Evidence from Randomly Assigned Friends," NBER Working Papers 16518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Yakusheva, Olga & Kapinos, Kandice & Weiss, Marianne, 2011. "Peer effects and the Freshman 15: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 119-132, March.
- Trogdon, Justin G. & Nonnemaker, James & Pais, Joanne, 2008. "Peer effects in adolescent overweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1388-1399, September.
- Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Asirvatham, Jebaraj & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Thomsen, Michael R., 2012. "Peer-Effects In Obesity Among Public School Children: A Grade-Level Analysis," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 122732, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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