Edward Norton (Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan)
09/14/2009, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.
The ongoing debate about the economic causes of obesity has focused on the changing relative prices of diet and exercise. This paper uses a model that explicitly includes time and spatially varying macro-level urbanization and price measures as instruments to correct for the endogenous and autocorrelated choices of diet, physical activity, drinking, and smoking on weight. We apply a dynamic panel system GMM estimation model on longitudinal (1991–2006) data from China and found that among adult men in China, 30% of weight gain was due to declines in physical activity, while 20% was due to higher fat intake.