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Does inequality have a silver lining? Municipal income inequality and obesity in Mexico

Matthieu Clément, Pierre Levasseur (), Suneha Seetahul and Lucie Piaser

Social Science & Medicine, 2021, vol. 272, issue C

Abstract: Income inequality and obesity are both widespread socioeconomic issues, particularly salient in middle-income countries. This article seeks to detect the relationship between local income inequality and excess weight in Mexico, using robust municipal income inequality measures generated through small area estimation method and instrumental variable multilevel estimations. Our results emphasize a negative impact of municipal income inequality on individual bodyweight, especially for women. We also explore the potential channels through which income inequality may decrease bodyweight. Three-stage least squares estimations highlight that the social capital pathway, the public policy pathway and the psychological pathway help to explain the negative effect of inequality on excess weight. Our results are fairly robust to alternative inequality measures and nutritional indicators.

Keywords: Mexico; Income inequality; Obesity; Instrumental variables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113710

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