The impact of income on the weight of elderly Americans

John Cawley, John Moran, Kosali Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of income on the body weight and clinical weight classification of elderly Americans using a natural experiment that led otherwise identical retirees to receive significantly different Social Security payments based on their year of birth. We estimate models of instrumental variables using data from the National Health Interview Surveys and find no significant effect of income on weight. The confidence intervals rule out even moderate effects of income on weight and on the probability of being underweight or obese, especially for men. For example, they indicate that the income elasticity of body mass index is not greater in absolute value than 0.06 for men or 0.14 for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-993
Number of pages15
JournalHealth economics
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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