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Productivity, obesity, and human capital: Panel data evidence

Ummad Mazhar () and Fahd Rehman

Economics & Human Biology, 2022, vol. 44, issue C

Abstract: The consequences of obesity for adults and children are well documented in the extant literature. We use panel data of 105 countries from 1990 to 2019 to estimate the effect of obesity on economic performance. We predict obesity using lagged values of child obesity as instruments. Predicted obesity has a negative and significant effect on productivity. This effect is independent of the effect of human capital and other macroeconomic determinants of economic performance. There is only weak evidence that this effect operates through the deterioration of human capital formation caused by childhood obesity.

Keywords: Obesity; Productivity; BMI; Emerging Economies; GMM-IV regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 I10 I12 J24 J71 L6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2021.101096

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