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Testing for Peer Effects Using Genetic Data

John Cawley (), Han, E.;, Kim, J.; and Edward Norton

Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers from HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: This paper tests for peer effects in obesity in a novel way. It addresses the reflection problem by using the alter’s genetic risk score for obesity, which is a significant predictor of obesity, is determined prior to birth, and cannot be affected by the behavior of others. It addresses the endogeneity of peer group formation by examining peers who are not self-selected: full siblings. We find evidence of positive peer effects in weight and obesity; having a sibling with a high genetic predisposition to obesity raises one’s risk of obesity, even controlling for one’s own genetic predisposition to obesity.

Keywords: peer effects; obesity; genetics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 I12 I18 D1 J1 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-net, nep-soc and nep-ure
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Working Paper: Testing for Peer Effects Using Genetic Data (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:yor:hectdg:18/19

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