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Evidence on the Efficacy of School-Based Incentives for Healthy Living

  • Harold E. Cuffe

    (University of Oregon, 1285 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States)

  • William T. Harbaugh

    (University of Oregon, 1285 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States)

  • Jason M. Lindo

    (University of Oregon, 1285 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States)

  • Giancarlo Musto

    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, Ecully, F-69130, France)

  • Glen R. Waddell

    (University of Oregon, 1285 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States)

We analyze the effects of a school-based incentive program on children’s exercise habits. The program offers children an opportunity to win prizes if they walk or bike to school during prize periods. We use daily child-level data and individual fixed effects models to measure the impact of the prizes by comparing behavior during prize periods with behavior during non-prize periods. Variation in the timing of prize periods across different schools allows us to estimate models with calendar date fixed effects to control for day-specific attributes, such as weather and proximity to holidays. On average, we find that being in a prize period increases riding behavior by sixteen percent, a large impact given that the prize value is just six cents per participating student. We also find that winning a prize lottery has a positive impact on ridership over subsequent weeks ; consider heterogeneity across prize type, gender, age, and calendar month ; and explore differential effects on the intensive versus extensive margins.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2011/1137.pdf
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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1137.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1137
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  1. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
  2. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Incentives to Exercise," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 909-931, 05.
  3. Silles, Mary A., 2009. "The causal effect of education on health: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 122-128, February.
  4. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2011. "Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 862-872, October.
  5. Duha Tore Altindag & Colin Cannonier & Naci H. Mocan, 2010. "The Impact of Education on Health Knowledge," NBER Working Papers 16422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Albouy, Valerie & Lequien, Laurent, 2009. "Does compulsory education lower mortality?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 155-168, January.
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  8. John Cawley & Joshua A. Price, 2011. "Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 91-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tenn, Steven & Herman, Douglas A. & Wendling, Brett, 2010. "The role of education in the production of health: An empirical analysis of smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 404-417, May.
  10. Dills, Angela K. & Morgan, Hillary N. & Rotthoff, Kurt W., 2011. "Recess, physical education, and elementary school student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 889-900, October.
  11. Hansen, Benjamin & Lang, Matthew, 2011. "Back to school blues: Seasonality of youth suicide and the academic calendar," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 850-861, October.
  12. Christopher S. Carpenter & Mark Stehr, 2011. "Intended and Unintended Consequences of Youth Bicycle Helmet Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 305 - 324.
  13. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2007. "The health effects of education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 186-200, April.
  14. Kaestner, Robert & Grossman, Michael, 2009. "Effects of weight on children's educational achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 651-661, December.
  15. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  17. Donald S. Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan D. Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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