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Body weight of Italians: the weight of Education

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Atella & Joanna Kopinska, 2011. "Body weight of Italians: the weight of Education," CEIS Research Paper 189, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 23 Mar 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:189
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    Cited by:

    1. Pieroni, L. & Salmasi, L., 2014. "Fast-food consumption and body weight. Evidence from the UK," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 94-105.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    BMI; Instrumental variables; Quantile regression; IVQTE;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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