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Should You Eat Breakfast? Estimates From Health Production Functions

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  • KENKEL, D.S.

Abstract

This paper uses an econometric specification based on the health production function approach to examine the importance of lifestyles for adult health. The approach treats health practices such as eating breakfast, smoking, and exercise as inputs into the production of good health; several output measures are explored. The econometric models estimated with data from the 1985 Health Interview Survey show broad agreement with conventional wisdom about the importance of healthy lifestyles. This paper also investigates the role schooling plays in the production of good health. Schooling is found to be related to good health even after controlling for differences in observable health inputs. However, lack of support for a plausible specification of the productive efficiency hypothesis casts some doubt on the interpretation that schooling increases the efficiency of the household production of health.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kenkel, D.S., 1989. "Should You Eat Breakfast? Estimates From Health Production Functions," Papers 9-90-8, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:pensta:9-90-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1, January.
    2. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
    3. Petitti, D.B. & Friedman, G.D. & Kahn, W., 1981. "Accuracy of information on smoking habits provided on self-administered research questionnaires," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 71(3), pages 308-311.
    4. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Victor R. Fuchs, 2018. "Schooling and Health: The Cigarette Connection," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Health Economics and Policy Selected Writings by Victor Fuchs, chapter 9, pages 99-113, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Nelson, Jon P, 1990. "State Monopolies and Alcoholic Beverage Consumption," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 83-98, March.
    8. Fuchs, Victor R. (ed.), 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226267852, January.
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