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Parental beliefs about returns to child health investments


Biroli, Pietro; Boneva, Teodora; Raja, Akash; Rauh, Christopher (2020). Parental beliefs about returns to child health investments. Journal of Econometrics:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Childhood obesity has adverse health and productivity consequences and it poses negative externalities to health services. To shed light on the role of parents, we elicit parental beliefs about the returns and the persistence of a healthy diet and exercise routine in childhood. Parents believe both types of investments to improve child and adult health outcomes. Consistent with a model of taste formation, parents believe that childhood health behaviors persist into adulthood. We show that perceived returns are predictive of health investments and outcomes, and that less educated parents view the returns to health investments to be lower. Our descriptive evidence suggests that beliefs contribute to the socioeconomic inequality in health outcomes and the intergenerational transmission of obesity.

Abstract

Childhood obesity has adverse health and productivity consequences and it poses negative externalities to health services. To shed light on the role of parents, we elicit parental beliefs about the returns and the persistence of a healthy diet and exercise routine in childhood. Parents believe both types of investments to improve child and adult health outcomes. Consistent with a model of taste formation, parents believe that childhood health behaviors persist into adulthood. We show that perceived returns are predictive of health investments and outcomes, and that less educated parents view the returns to health investments to be lower. Our descriptive evidence suggests that beliefs contribute to the socioeconomic inequality in health outcomes and the intergenerational transmission of obesity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Parental investments, Health, Beliefs, Inequality, Obesity
Language:English
Date:4 September 2020
Deposited On:30 Sep 2020 15:07
Last Modified:02 Oct 2020 10:49
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-4076
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeconom.2020.03.018
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/158854/

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Embargo till: 2022-10-01