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Determinants of Obesity in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis from a Developing Country

Listed author(s):
  • Deniz Karaoglan

    ()

    (Bahcesehir University, Department of Economics)

  • Aysit Tansel

    (Middle East Technical University, IZA Bonn, ERF, Cairo)

This study investigates the factors that may influence the obesity in Turkey which is a developing country by implementing Quantile Regression (QR) methodology. The control factors that we consider are education, labor market outcomes, household income, age, gender, region and marital status. The analysis is conducted by using the 2008, 2010 and 2012 waves of the Turkish Health Survey (THS) prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT). The obesity indicator in our study is the individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI). QR regression results provide robust evidence that additional years of schooling has negative effect on individual’s BMI and this effect significantly raises across different quantiles of BMI. QR results also indicate that males tend to have higher BMI at lower quantiles of BMI, whereas females have higher BMI at the top quantiles. This implies that females have higher tendency to be obese in Turkey. Our findings also imply that the positive effect of age on individual’s BMI levels raises across the quantiles at a decreasing rate. In addition, the effect of living in urban or rural areas do not significantly differ at the highest quantile distributions of BMI. Our results also reveal that the negative effect of being single on BMI increases gradually in absolute value across the quantiles of BMI implying that single individuals have less tendency to be obese or overweight compared to the married or widowed/divorced individuals. Moreover, the negative effect of being in labor force on individual’s BMI increases across the quantiles of BMI implying that an individual is more likely to be obese if he/she is out of labor force. Finally, the impact of household income on BMI is positive and significant all quantiles.

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File URL: http://eaf.ku.edu.tr/sites/eaf.ku.edu.tr/files/erf_wp_1703.pdf
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Paper provided by Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum in its series Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers with number 1703.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:1703
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  1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Changes in compulsory schooling and the causal effect of education on health: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 340-354, March.
  3. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps Between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis," Working Papers 2008-11, FEDEA.
  4. Tansel, Aysit, 2014. "Health Behaviors and Education in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 8262, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Vincenzo Atella & Noemi Pace & Daniela Vuri, 2008. "Are employers discriminating with respect to weight? European Evidence using Quantile Regression," CEIS Research Paper 123, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
  6. Rosen, Allison B. & Stewart, Susan T. & Cutler, David M., 2009. "Forecasting the Effects of Obesity and Smoking on U.S. Life Expectancy," Scholarly Articles 5344184, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Jaume Garcia & Climent Quintana, 2008. "Income and Body Mass Index in Europe," Economic Reports 13-08, FEDEA.
  8. Webbink, Dinand & Martin, Nicholas G. & Visscher, Peter M., 2010. "Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 29-38, January.
  9. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Fabbri & Margherita Fort, 2013. "The Causal Effect of Education on Body Mass: Evidence from Europe," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 195-223.
  10. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  11. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2009. "Does Schooling Affect Health Behavior? Evidence from the Educational Expansion in Western Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4330, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. 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.
  13. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 2008. "Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Review of Zoltan J. Acs and Alan Lyles's Obesity, Business and Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 974-982, December.
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