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Eating Behavior and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood

Author

Listed:
  • Luisa Corrado

    (Department of Economics
    Faculty of Economics, University of Rome
    University of Cambridge)

  • Roberta Distante

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the importance of social ties for eating behavior of US youth. We propose a novel approach that addresses identification of social endogenous effects. We overcome the problem of measuring the separate impact of endogenous and contextual effects on individual Body Mass Index (BMI) in a dynamic linear-in-means model, where individual- and group-specifi?c unobservable effects are controlled for. We show that the main drivers of eating behavior are habituation and imitation effects. Imitation effects explain most of the variation in BMI of individuals who were normal-weight and overweight during adolescence. Obese adolescents, instead, become future obese adults through wrong habits enforced by imitative behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Luisa Corrado & Roberta Distante, 2012. "Eating Behavior and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood," Discussion Papers 12-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1203
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overweight; Obesity; Peer Effects; Social Networks; Personal History; Dynamic Linear-in-means Mode;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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