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The intergenerational transmission of body mass index across countries

Dolton, Peter and Xiao, Mimi (2017) The intergenerational transmission of body mass index across countries. Economics and Human Biology, 24. pp. 140-152. ISSN 1570-677X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.11.005


There is a worldwide epidemic of obesity. We are just beginning to understand its consequences for child obesity. This paper addresses one important component of the crisis; namely the extent to which adiposity, or more specifically, BMI, is passed down from one generation to the next. We find that the intergenerational elasticity of BMI is very similar across countries and relatively constant – at 0.2 per parent. Our substantive finding is that this elasticity is very comparable across time and countries – even if these countries are at very different stages of economic development. Quantile analysis suggests that this intergenerational transmission mechanism is substantively different across the distribution of children’s BMI; more than double for the most obese children what it is for the thinnest children. These findings have important consequences for the health of the world’s children.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 16:14
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 23:57

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