IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of "No Child Left Behind" on Children's Obesity

  • Patricia M. Anderson
  • Kristin F. Butcher
  • Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

This paper investigates how accountability pressures under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may affect children's rate of overweight. Schools facing increased pressures to produce academic outcomes may reallocate their efforts in ways that have unintended consequences for children's health. For example, schools may cut back on recess and physical education in favor of increasing time on tested subjects. To examine the impact of school accountability programs, we create a unique panel data set of schools in Arkansas that allows us to test the impact of NCLB rules on students' weight outcomes. Our main approach is to consider schools to be facing increased pressures if they are on the margin of passing - that is, if any subgroup at the school has a passing rate that is close to the AYP passing threshold, where we define close as being 5 percentage points above or below the threshold. We find evidence of small effects of accountability pressures on the percent of students at a school that are overweight. A follow-up survey of school principals points to reductions in physical activity and worsening of the food environment as potential mechanisms.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16873.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16873
Note: CH ED HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Thomas Dee & Brian Jacob, 2009. "The Impact of No Child Left Behind on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 15531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
  3. Bokhari, Farasat A.S. & Schneider, Helen, 2011. "School accountability laws and the consumption of psychostimulants," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 355-372, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16873. 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: ()

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.