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Decomposing Bodymass Index gaps between Mediterranean countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis

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  • Costa-Font, J
  • Fabbri, D
  • Gil, J

Abstract

Wide cross-country variation in obesity rates have been reported within European Union member states. However, health production determinants for these differences have been largely overlooked in the health economics literature. In this paper we propose a methodology for conducting standardized cross-country comparisons in BMI. The method we adopt is based on the estimation of the marginal density function of BMI in a given country implied by different counterfactual distributions of all the covariates included within a quantile regression framework. We apply our method to the analysis of the variation in BMI distribution in Spain with respect to Italy in the year 2003. Our findings suggest that Spain-to-Italy BMI gaps are largely explained by cross-country variation in the returns to each health input. Therefore, there appear to be differences in the country-specific behavioural responses to the caloric (im)balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, J & Fabbri, D & Gil, J, 2008. "Decomposing Bodymass Index gaps between Mediterranean countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:08/02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. L. Pieroni & D. Lanari & L. Salmasi, 2013. "Food prices and overweight patterns in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(1), pages 133-151, February.
    2. Font, Joan Costa & Fabbri, Daniele & Gil, Joan, 2010. "Decomposing cross-country differences in levels of obesity and overweight: Does the social environment matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1185-1193, April.
    3. Antonio Di Paolo & Joan Gil Trasfi & Athina Raftopoulou, 2018. "“What drives regional differences in BMI? Evidence from Spain”," AQR Working Papers 201805, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Apr 2018.
    4. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Deniz Karaoglan & Aysit Tansel, 2017. "Determinants of Obesity in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis from a Developing Country," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1703, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    6. Dodd, Mark C., 2014. "Intertemporal discounting as a risk factor for high BMI: Evidence from Australia, 2008," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 83-97.
    7. Daouli, Joan & Davillas, Apostolos & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2013. "The determinants of body mass in Greece: Evidence from the National Health Survey," MPRA Paper 66392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-41, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    9. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2014. "Income inequalities in unhealthy life styles in England and Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 66-75.
    10. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.
    11. Donal O’Neill & Olive Sweetman, 2016. "Bounding obesity rates in the presence of self-reporting errors," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 857-871, May.
    12. Elisa Birch, 2015. "The Role of Socioeconomic, Demographic and Behavioural Factors in Explaining the High Rates of Obesity Among Indigenous Australians," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 209-228, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    BMI; country weight gap; quantile regression; counterfactual decomposition; Mediterranean countries; Italy; Spain.;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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