Do peers affect childhood obesity outcomes? Peer-effect analysis in public schools

Jebaraj Asirvatham, Michael R. Thomsen, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr, Heather L. Rouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-235
Number of pages20
JournalCanadian Journal of Economics
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Public schools
Peer effects
Peers
Childhood obesity
Instrumental variables
Z-score
Assignment
Body mass index
Interaction
Factors
Childhood
Body weight
Peer group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Do peers affect childhood obesity outcomes? Peer-effect analysis in public schools. / Asirvatham, Jebaraj; Thomsen, Michael R.; Nayga, Jr, Rodolfo M.; Rouse, Heather L.

In: Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 51, No. 1, 01.02.2018, p. 216-235.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Asirvatham, Jebaraj ; Thomsen, Michael R. ; Nayga, Jr, Rodolfo M. ; Rouse, Heather L. / Do peers affect childhood obesity outcomes? Peer-effect analysis in public schools. In: Canadian Journal of Economics. 2018 ; Vol. 51, No. 1. pp. 216-235.
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