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Body weight of Italians: the weight of Education

In this paper we empirically study the relationship between education attainment and Body Mass Index (BMI), using as theoretical reference an energy balance model. Our data consist of individual level data from eight waves of the Italian survey on life-styles. We use Quantile Regression (QR) technique to study the impact of education along the whole distribution of the BMI and provide evidence that the effect of education on BMI is greater in magnitude for the overweight and the obese. This effect is reinforced (three times greater) once we account for the endogeneity of some of the determinants of BMI (IVQTE). Finally, we adopt a model specification that allows us to test if education is likely to affect BMI indirectly, through channels such as the adoption of better life styles (healthier diet and more sport activities). Results seem to confirm this hypothesis, and this may reveal an important information for policymakers.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 189.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 23 Mar 2011
Date of revision: 23 Mar 2011
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:189
Contact details of provider: Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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