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Food Deserts and Childhood Obesity

Pedro Alviola, Rodolfo Nayga () and Michael Thomsen

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2013, vol. 35, issue 1, 106-124

Abstract: We utilize a panel data set from 2007 to 2009 on the state of Arkansas to identify and determine the effect of food deserts on school district obesity rates. We define food deserts as low-income areas with limited food access. Using both classical panel data models and spatial error models, we find no statistically significant relationship between school district obesity rates and the existence of food deserts in Arkansas. This finding is consistent across different model specifications, in spatial, panel or cross-sectional analysis, and with or without urban school districts in the data.

Date: 2013
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