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How do peers influence BMI? Evidence from randomly assigned classrooms in South Korea

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  • How do peers influence BMI? Evidence from randomly assigned classrooms in South Korea
  • Lim, Jaegeum; Meer, Jonathan
  • National Bureau of Economic Research


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Title How do peers influence BMI? Evidence from randomly assigned classrooms in South Korea
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Lim, Jaegeum; Meer, Jonathan

Publisher

Cambridge : National Bureau of Economic Research

Date 2017-10
Series Title; No NBER Working Paper Series / 23901
Pages 25
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Health
Social Development < Education
Holding National Bureau of Economic Research
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Abstract

Obesity among children is an important public health concern, and social networks may play a role in students' habits that increase the likelihood of being overweight. We examine data from South Korean middle schools, where students are randomly assigned to classrooms, and exploit the variation in peer body mass index. We use the number of peers' siblings as an instrument to account for endogeneity concerns and measurement error. Heavier peers increase the likelihood that a student is heavier; there is no spurious correlation for height, which is unlikely to have peer contagion. Public policy that targets obesity can have spillovers through social networks.