IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cch/wpaper/14c002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Income on Obesity among Canadian Adults

Author

Listed:
  • Koffi-Ahoto Kpelitse
  • Rose Anne Devlin
  • Sisira Sarma

Abstract

Although a large body of research demonstrates an association between income and obesity, the causal nature of this relationship remains largely unclear. Using five biennial confidential master files (2000/01-2009/10) of the Canadian Community Health Survey, we examine the causal effect of income on adult body mass index (BMI) and obesity in Canada using an instrumental variables (IV) approach. The neighbourhood level unemployment rate and household income are the instruments used to identify the causal effect. Our results show that the income elasticity of BMI is -0.113 for women and -0.027 for men. These findings suggest that for a person of average height, a 1% increase in income leads to a weight reduction of 0.300 kg and 0.084kg for women and men, respectively. We find that a 1% increase in household income leads to a 0.76% and 0.27% decrease in the probability of being obese for women and men, respectively. Our quantile IV results reveal that the negative effect of income on BMI increases consistently over the BMI distribution in women, while for men it is statistically significant only at the higher end of the BMI distribution. Contrary to theoretical expectations, we do not find any evidence of a larger negative effect of income on BMI and obesity for more educated people. Our findings suggest that household income is potentially an important modifiable risk factor for obesity, especially among women.

Suggested Citation

  • Koffi-Ahoto Kpelitse & Rose Anne Devlin & Sisira Sarma, 2014. "The Effect of Income on Obesity among Canadian Adults," Working Papers 14C002, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:14c002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.canadiancentreforhealtheconomics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Sisira-et-al.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    2. Brendan Kline & Justin L. Tobias, 2008. "The wages of BMI: Bayesian analysis of a skewed treatment-response model with nonparametric endogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 767-793.
    3. Zhang, Qi & Wang, Youfa, 2004. "Socioeconomic inequality of obesity in the United States: do gender, age, and ethnicity matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1171-1180, March.
    4. Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
    5. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Health"," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
    7. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
    8. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899.
    9. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1.
    10. Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Economic Aspects of Obesity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros09-1.
    11. GarcĂ­a Villar, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2009. "Income and body mass index in Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 73-83, March.
    12. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "Obesity, Self-Esteem and Wages," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 349-380 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2008. "Do women value marriage more? The effect of obesity on cohabitation and marriage in the USA," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 111-126, June.
    14. 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.
    15. Lo Sasso, Anthony T. & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2004. "The effect of the state children's health insurance program on health insurance coverage," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1059-1082, September.
    16. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
    17. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H., 2006. "Time discounting and the body mass index: Evidence from the Netherlands," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 39-61, January.
    18. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
    19. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:8:1299-1304_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Ikeda, Shinsuke & Kang, Myong-Il & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Hyperbolic discounting, the sign effect, and the body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 268-284, March.
    21. Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.
    22. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    23. Fuchs, Victor R. (ed.), 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226267852.
    24. Sarma, Sisira & Zaric, Gregory S. & Campbell, M. Karen & Gilliland, Jason, 2014. "The effect of physical activity on adult obesity: Evidence from the Canadian NPHS panel," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 1-21.
    25. Dodd, Mark C., 2014. "Intertemporal discounting as a risk factor for high BMI: Evidence from Australia, 2008," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 83-97.
    26. John Cawley & John Moran & Kosali Simon, 2010. "The impact of income on the weight of elderly Americans," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 979-993, August.
    27. Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Obesity"," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 1-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    29. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC for 26/02/2015
      by sognenis in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2015-02-10 12:30:32

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:253-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Chu, Filmer & Ohinmaa, Arto, 2016. "The obesity penalty in the labor market using longitudinal Canadian data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 10-17.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    body mass index; obesity; income; Instrumental Variable (IV); Quantile IV; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:14c002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Adrian Rohit Dass). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cchetca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.