IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp1098.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Anorexia, Body Image and Peer Effects: Evidence from a Sample of European Women

Author

Listed:
  • Joan Costa Font
  • Mireia Jofre-Bonet

Abstract

Excessive preoccupation with self-image (or identity) is regarded as a factor contributing to the proliferation of food disorders, especially among young women. This paper models how self-image and peer effects influence health-related behaviours, specifically food disorders. We empirically test our claims using data from the European survey. Our findings suggest that the larger the peers' body-mass, the lower the likelihood of being anorexic. Self-image is correlated with body weight. We use several definitions of peers' body mass and we find that all are negatively associated with the likelihood of women being thin or extremely thin.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Costa Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2011. "Anorexia, Body Image and Peer Effects: Evidence from a Sample of European Women," CEP Discussion Papers dp1098, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1098
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1098.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    2. William H. Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Further Results," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 291-300, January.
    3. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    6. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    7. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    8. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    10. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Fabrice Etilé, 2007. "Social norms, ideal body weight and food attitudes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 945-966, September.
    13. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
    14. Andrew Grodner & Thomas J. Kniesner, 2006. "Social Interactions in Labor Supply," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1226-1248, December.
    15. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Review 1: Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 441-454, June.
    16. William Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Comment," Working Papers 98-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Joan Costa-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "Social Identity And Redistributive Preferences: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 357-374, April.
    2. Rokhaya Dieye & Bernard Fortin, 2017. "Gender Peer Effects Heterogeneity in Obesity," Cahiers de recherche 1702, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    3. Costa-i-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of childhood obesity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Joan Costa-Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Steven T. Yen, 2013. "Not All Incentives Wash Out the Warm Glow: The Case of Blood Donation Revisited," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 529-551, November.
    5. Arduini, Tiziano & Iorio, Daniela & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2019. "Weight, reference points, and the onset of eating disorders," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 170-188.
    6. Aisha Jalil & Qaisar Khalid Mahmood & Ahmed Usman & Akhlaq Ahmad, 2020. "Qualitative analysis of feminine morality and visible personality characteristics among young adults," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 887-902, June.
    7. Costa-Font, Joan & Jofre-Bonet, Mireia, 2020. "Is the intergenerational transmission of overweight ‘gender assortative’?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    8. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 29-37.
    9. Jonathan Norris, 2019. "Identify economics: social influence and skill development," Working Papers 1908, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    10. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2017. "A triple test for behavioral economics models and public health policy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 513-533, December.
    11. Yue Ding & Ruimin Li & Xiaokun Wang & Joshua Schmid, 2022. "Heterogeneity of autonomous vehicle adoption behavior due to peer effects and prior-AV knowledge," Transportation, Springer, vol. 49(6), pages 1837-1860, December.
    12. Ana Balsa & Carlos Díaz, 2018. "Social interactions in health behaviors and conditions," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1802, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    13. Strulik, Holger, 2021. "Hooked on weight control: An economic theory of anorexia nervosa, and its impact on health and longevity," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 429, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2014. "Income inequalities in unhealthy life styles in England and Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 66-75.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Costa-Font, Joan & Jofre-Bonet, Mireia, 2011. "Anorexia, body image and peer effects: evidence from a sample of European women (discussion paper)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46701, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Costa-Font, Joan & Jofre-Bonet, Mireia, 2009. "Body image, peer effects and food disorders: evidence from a sample of European women," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27751, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Collewet, M.M.F. & de Grip, A. & Koning, J.d., 2015. "Peer working time, labour supply, and happiness for male workers," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Collewet, Marion & de Grip, Andries & de Koning, Jaap, 2017. "Conspicuous work: Peer working time, labour supply, and happiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 79-90.
    5. Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2019. "Heterogeneous effects of obesity on mental health: Evidence from Mexico," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 447-460, April.
    6. Costa-Font, Joan & Jofre-Bonet, Mireia, 2009. "Body image, peer effects and food disorders: evidence from a sample of European women," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27751, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Joan Costa-i-Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2008. "Body Image and Food Disorders: Evidence from a Sample of European Women," CESifo Working Paper Series 2412, CESifo.
    8. Collewet, Marion & de Grip, Andries & de Koning, Jaap, 2015. "Conspicuous Work: Peer Working Time, Labour Supply and Happiness for Male Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 9011, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    10. Ana Balsa & Carlos Díaz, 2018. "Social interactions in health behaviors and conditions," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1802, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    11. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2015. "Social Distortion in Weight Perception: A Decomposition of the Obesity Epidemic," Working Papers in Economics 639, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    12. Deconinck, Koen & Swinnen, Johan, 2015. "Peer effects and the rise of beer in Russia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 83-96.
    13. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice, 2011. "Happy house: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1124-1136.
    14. Caroli, Eve & Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane, 2016. "Self-reported health and gender: The role of social norms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 220-229.
    15. Grodner, Andrew & Kniesner, Thomas J. & Bishop, John A., 2011. "Social Interactions in the Labor Market," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 6(4), pages 265-366, September.
    16. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2017. "A triple test for behavioral economics models and public health policy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 513-533, December.
    17. Koen Deconinck & Jo Swinnen, 2012. "Peer Effects in Alcohol Consumption: Evidence from Russia’s Beer Boom," LICOS Discussion Papers 31612, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    18. Gil, Joan & Mora, Toni, 2011. "The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 78-91, January.
    19. Heather Brown & Arne Risa Hole & Jennifer Roberts, 2010. "Going the same 'weigh': spousal correlations in obesity in the UK," Working Papers 2010012, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
    20. Kavetsos, Georgios, 2011. "The impact of physical activity on employment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 775-779.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-image; identity; body image; eating disorders; anorexia; European women;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    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:cep:cepdps:dp1098. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion-papers/ .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion-papers/ .

    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.