Structural Estimation of Caloric Intake, Exercise, Smoking, and Obesity
NBER Working Paper No. 11957
The escalating rate of obesity in the US highlights the importance of understanding the causes for this rise. In this paper I employ the First, Second, and Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to estimate a structural model of the determinants of adult obesity. To control for the potential endogeneity of some explanatory variables, such as caloric intake (adjusted for activity level) and smoking, a set of reduced form equations for these outcomes is estimated simultaneously with the obesity equation. To identify each equation, I use an array of state-level characteristics as instrumental variables. Trends in these variables shed light on the sources of the rapid increase in obesity since 1980.
Published: Rashad, Inas. "Structural Estimation Of Caloric Intake, Exercise, Smoking, And Obesity," Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 2006, v46(2,May), 268-283.