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Body Mass Index and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood

Luisa Corrado (), Roberta Distante and Majlinda Joxhe

DEM Discussion Paper Series from Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg

Abstract: We apply a dynamic linear-in-means model to analyze the importance of social ties for the body-weight-related behavior of US youth. Our methodology shows how to estimate peer effects free of the “reflection problem” in a dynamic context where individual- and group-specific unobservable effects are controlled for. Our results show that the main drivers for the body-weight-related behavior are past and peer effects. For individuals who were normal-weight or obese during adolescence, past and peer effects are shown to be both relevant. Peer effects, instead, explain more the variation in the BMI for individuals who were over-weight during adolescence, showing in this way the importance of social interactions for body-weight-related behavior.

Keywords: Over-weight; Obesity; Peer Effects; Social Networks; Personal History; Dynamic Linear-in-means Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C01 D10 D71 I19 J11 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-hea, nep-net, nep-soc and nep-ure
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