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Weight loss and sexual activity in adult obese individuals: Establishing a causal link

Author

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  • Reichert, Arndt R.
  • Tauchmann, Harald
  • Wübker, Ansgar

Abstract

Obesity may not only be linked to undesirable health outcomes but also to limitations in sexual life. The present paper aims to assess whether there is a causal relationship between weight loss and sexual activity in adult obese individuals. To address the endogeneity of weight loss that is likely to result in biased estimation results, the analysis is based on data from a randomized field experiment. In this experiment financial weight-loss rewards were offered to a random subgroup of participants and can be used as exogenous source of weight variation in an instrumental variables approach. Estimation results indicate that for obese males loosing weight increases the probability for being involved in a sexual relationship. Conditional on having already lost some weight, a further reduction in obesity also increases the frequency of sexual intercourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Reichert, Arndt R. & Tauchmann, Harald & Wübker, Ansgar, 2015. "Weight loss and sexual activity in adult obese individuals: Establishing a causal link," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 06/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:062015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sabia, Joseph J. & Rees, Daniel I., 2008. "The effect of adolescent virginity status on psychological well-being," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1368-1381, September.
    2. Markus H. Schafer & Sarah A. Mustillo & Kenneth F. Ferraro, 2013. "Age and the Tenses of Life Satisfaction," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 68(4), pages 571-579.
    3. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Reichert, Arndt R. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Tauchmann, Harald, 2014. "Small Cash Rewards for Big Losers – Experimental Insights Into the Fight Against the Obesity Epidemic," Ruhr Economic Papers 530, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Reichert, Arndt R. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Tauchmann, Harald, 2012. "Does Money Burn Fat? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6888, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0381 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cawley, John & Price, Joshua A., 2013. "A case study of a workplace wellness program that offers financial incentives for weight loss," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 794-803.
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    8. Horrace, William C. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2006. "Results on the bias and inconsistency of ordinary least squares for the linear probability model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 321-327, March.
    9. Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Heiland, Frank, 2014. "Racial differences in the influence of female adolescents’ body size on dating and sex," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 140-152.
    10. David Roodman, 2011. "Fitting fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 159-206, June.
    11. Arndt R. Reichert, 2015. "Obesity, Weight Loss, and Employment Prospects: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(3), pages 759-810.
    12. Joseph J. Sabia & Daniel I. Rees, 2011. "The effect of body weight on adolescent sexual activity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(11), pages 1330-1348, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hafner, Lucas & Tauchmann, Harald & Wübker, Ansgar, 2017. "Does moderate weight loss affect subjective health perception in obese individuals? Evidence from field experimental data," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 26/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    obesity; sexual partnership; frequency of intercourse; randomized trial; weight-loss incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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