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Does Suburbanization Cause Obesity?

Listed author(s):
  • Maryam Naghsh Nejad

    ()

  • Amanda Ross

    ()

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.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa14/e140826aFinal01183.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa14p1183.

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Date of creation: Nov 2014
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa14p1183
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  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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