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Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment

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  • Robert Kaestner
  • Michael Grossman
  • Benjamin Yarnoff

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the association between weight and adolescent's educational attainment, as measured by highest grade attended, highest grade completed, and drop out status. Data for the study came from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), which contains a large, national sample of teens between the ages of 14 and 18. We obtained estimates of the association between weight and educational attainment using several regression model specifications that controlled for a variety of observed characteristics. Our results suggest that, in general, teens that are overweight or obese have levels of attainment that are about the same as teens with average weight.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman & Benjamin Yarnoff, 2009. "Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 14994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14994 Note: HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
    2. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
    3. 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.
    4. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    5. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    6. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
    7. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
    8. Robert A. Shakotko & Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1980. "An Exploration of the Dynamic Relationship between Health and Cognitive Development in Adolescence," NBER Working Papers 0454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-481, August.
    10. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871-900, April.
    11. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Adolescent Health, Family Background, and Preventive Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 0398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
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    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0573-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life cycle development of obesity and its determinants in six European countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 62-78.
    3. Kranjac, Ashley Wendell, 2015. "The moderating effect of self-efficacy on normal-weight, overweight, and obese children's math achievement: A longitudinal analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 168-177.
    4. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray, 2011. "State of the Evidence on Health as a Determinant of Productivity," CSLS Research Reports 2011-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. Han, Euna & Norton, Edward C. & Powell, Lisa M., 2011. "Direct and indirect effects of body weight on adult wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 381-392.
    6. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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