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Going the same 'weigh': spousal correlations in obesity in the UK

Brown, H., Hole, A.R. and Roberts, J. (2010) Going the same 'weigh': spousal correlations in obesity in the UK. Working Paper. Department of Economics, University of Sheffield ISSN 1749-8368

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Abstract

The obesity epidemic has received widespread media and research attention. However, the social phenomenon of obesity is still not well understood. Data from the 2004 and 2006 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) show positive and significant correlations in spousal body mass index (BMI). This paper explores three mechanisms of shared individual characteristics, social influence and shared environment to explain this correlation. A number of econometric specifications are used to investigate the role of observed individual characteristics, own health, spouse health, social influence, contextual effects and unobserved individual effects on the influence of these three hypotheses on the correlation in spousal BMI. Results indicate that social influence and shared individual characteristics, which may arise through assortative matching, both contribute to correlation in spousal BMI.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The Sheffield Economics Research Paper (SERP) series offers a forum for the research output of the academic staff and research students of the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield. Papers are reviewed for quality and presentation by a departmental editor. However, the contents and opinions expressed remain the responsibility of the authors. All papers may be downloaded free on the understanding that the contents are preliminary and therefore permission from the author(s) should be sought before they are referenced.
Keywords: marriage, BMI, obesity
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield) > Sheffield Economics Research Papers Series
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2010 08:59
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:00
Published Version: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/yea...
Status: Published
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Identification Number: Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series 2010012
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10861

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