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Peer-Effects in Obesity among Public Elementary School Children: A Grade-Level Analysis

Jebaraj Asirvatham (), Rodolfo Nayga () and Michael R. Thomsen

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2014, vol. 36, issue 3, 438-459

Abstract: Using a panel dataset at the grade level from Arkansas public schools, this study finds that changes in the obesity prevalence at the oldest grade are associated with changes in obesity prevalence at younger grades. Furthermore, analysis across different school types shows that the peer effects are statistically significant but the magnitude of the effect is greater in kindergarten to fourth-grade schools than in kindergarten to sixth-grade schools. We also use tests on spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as by weight status grouping, to provide evidence that these peer effects are more than just a statistical correlation.

Date: 2014
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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