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Does Suburbanization Cause Obesity?

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  • Maryam Naghsh Nejad
  • Amanda Ross

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of suburbanization on obesity rates. Our study is an improvement over the existing literature because we will use county level data for our analysis, enabling us to look at the effect of moving from the central city to the suburbs. Previous research has only had health data at the MSA level, and therefore could not look at the effect of highways on obesity rates within an MSA, particularly the suburbs versus the central city. To estimate the relationship between obesity and highways, we will use county-level data on obesity rates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). We merge the obesity information with data on the proposed highway program of 1950 used previously by Baum-Snow (2007). Our results suggest that additional miles of a highway system increase obesity rates in urban areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Maryam Naghsh Nejad & Amanda Ross, 2014. "Does Suburbanization Cause Obesity?," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1183, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa14p1183
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2011. "Supersizing supercenters? The impact of Walmart Supercenters on body mass index and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 165-181, March.
    3. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    suburbanization; obesity.;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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