An empirical note on imitative obesity and a puzzling result
Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 2006, I test recent theoretical predictions on social comparisons influencing individual Body Mass Index (BMI). I find that in particular the average BMI of individuals in the same county-age-gender-cell as the respective individual influences BMI. Evidence from quantile regressions points towards significant heterogeneity of effects along the distribution. However, there is no evidence of some individuals becoming slimmer as a result of preferences for deviant behaviour. Life satisfaction regressions show a positive effect for BMI relative to the county average. Paradoxically, BMI relative to the cell average seems to have no effect on life satisfaction. These two results contradict most theories of social comparisons.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:174. 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: (Joachim Wagner)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.