This study investigates whether obese peers are a contributing factor in childhood body-weight outcomes. Using an instrumental variables method on exogenously assigned peers (i.e., new 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. The size of the peer effect, however, is negligible. We find no evidence of interaction between newly assigned peer groups prior to assignment. Furthermore, the obese peers variable is significant only for those peers with whom a student interacts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics