NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Sanjeev Kumar

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July 2013Religion and Risky Health Behaviors among U.S. Adolescents and Adults
with Jason Fletcher: w19225
Recent studies analyzing the effects of religion on various economic, social, health and political outcomes have been largely associational. Although some attempts have been made to establish causation using instrument variable (IV) or difference-in-difference (DID) methods, the instruments and the spatial and temporal variations used in these studies suffer from the usual issues that threaten the use of these identification techniques—validity of exclusion restrictions, quality of counterfactuals in the presence of spatial assortative sorting of people, and concern about omitted variable bias in the absence of information on family level unobservables and child-specific investment by families. During the adolescent years, religious participation might be a matter of limited choice for man...

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