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Born to Be Wide? Exploring Correlations in Mother and Adolescent Body Mass Index Using Data from the British Household Panel Survey

  • Heather Brown

    (Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University)

  • Jennifer Roberts

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

The channels contributing to the intergenerational correlation in body mass are not well understood. Decomposition analysis is used to estimate the contribution of maternal characteristics, household income, and adolescent behaviours related to eating and physical activity on the intergenerational correlation in BMI. The analysis uses data on mothers and their adolescent children aged 11 to 15 from the British Household Panel Survey (2004 and 2006). The overall intergenerational correlation in BMI is 0.25. Maternal educational attainment and adolescent participation in some form of physical activity on a daily basis are the largest contributing factors to the intergenerational correlation in BMI. Maternal employment and more than four hours a day of television viewing by the adolescent are also important contributing factors. Overall, observable characteristics explain 11.2% of the intergenerational correlation in BMI.

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File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2012_019.html
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012019.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2012019
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  1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
  2. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  5. Classen, Timothy J., 2010. "Measures of the intergenerational transmission of body mass index between mothers and their children in the United States, 1981-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 30-43, March.
  6. Gary Solon & Mary Corcoran & GRoger Gordon & Deborah Laren, 1991. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Sibling Correlations in Economic Status," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 509-534.
  7. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Diane Whitemore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Childhood Disadvantage and Obesity: Is Nurture Trumping Nature?," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 149-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  9. 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.
  10. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2008. "Sibling similarities and economic inequality in the US," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 685-701, July.
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