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Peer-Effects on Childhood Obesity: An Instrumental Variables Approach on Exogenously Assigned Peers

Jebaraj Asirvatham (), Michael Thomsen, Rodolfo Nayga () and Heather Rouse

No 170387, 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Abstract: This study investigates whether peers are a contributing factor in childhood body-weight outcomes. Using an instrumental variables method on exogenously assigned peers, we find that the weight of peers within the same grade and school significantly impacts body mass index (BMI) z-score of an individual student. A typical student’s BMI z-score increases when facing heavier peers. The size of the peer-effect, however, is very modest. For a percentage point increase in the proportion of obese students in the same grade, a typical student’s BMI z-score increases by only 0.00341 standard deviations.

Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-net, nep-soc and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:aaea14:170387

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.170387

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